The far-left organization known as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), often described as an “anti-Christian hate group,” is working with YouTube to purge conservatives, Christians, libertarians, and others from the video streaming platform, according to news reports. A number of prominent media figures have already been banned, with others facing demonetization and warnings. Some accounts were restored amid a national outcry. But the new revelations about YouTube partnering with radical leftists and anti-Christian bigots come as Google, Facebook, Twitter and other Internet giants come under increasing fire for blatantly trying to silence right-of-center voices on their platforms. Lawsuits against the tech behemoths are underway, and calls for government regulation are growing louder.
The SPLC role as a “trusted flagger” in policing YouTube for “extremist” content first came to light in an article by The Daily Caller. The news outlet, citing a source with knowledge of the arrangement, said it was not clear when the far-left organization partnered with YouTube, which is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. The Daily Caller noted that the identities of most of the over 100 outfits that are considered “trusted flaggers” remain hidden. But it is known that the list includes government agencies, as well as radical left-wing organizations funded by European taxpayers. As usual, YouTube and its parent company have been tight-lipped about their censorship operations, which have been criticized for years for unfairly targeting conservatives.
“We work with over 100 organizations as part of our Trusted Flagger program and we value the expertise these organizations bring to flagging content for review,” a YouTube spokesperson was quoted as saying in response to questions about the SPLC. “All trusted flaggers attend a YouTube training to learn about our policies and enforcement processes. Videos flagged by trusted flaggers are reviewed by YouTube content moderators according to YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Content flagged by trusted flaggers is not automatically removed or subject to any differential policies than content flagged from other users.” The spokesperson refused to comment specifically on the SPLC's involvement in the program. The SPLC also did not respond to requests for comments.
The revelations about the SPLC's role sparked immediate condemnation and ridicule from a wide range of commentators. Among the prominent voices speaking out was the Family Research Council, a pro-family group falsely declared a “hate group” by SPLC that was targeted for a terrorist attack by homosexual activist and SPLC devotee Floyd Corkins. “Now, I don't know about you, but an organization that's inspired at least two gunman to shoot conservatives, isn't exactly who I'd trust to define violent speech,” noted FRC chief Tony Perkins in commentary about the revelations on the SPLC's ties to YouTube. “Although no one knows when SPLC joined the program, they do know what it means for conservatives: discrimination.”
Perkins expressed concern that numerous mainstream Christians, conservatives, churches, and organizations have been “recklessly and fraudulently” labeled as “hate groups” alongside the KKK and Nazis. As he sees it, the SPLC's definition of hate is basically “any belief that's contrary to theirs.” Indeed, even disagreeing with homosexual “marriage,” as Obama did when he first ran for president, has been labeled radical and extreme by the SPLC. Especially worrying is that the SPLC, as a “trusted flagger,” is understood to be involved in the creation of algorithms that help censor views it disagrees with. According to Perkins, the SPLC has been trying to have “conventional beliefs” turned into “ground for government punishment.”
“As for Google, YouTube may be a private entity – but it's virtually monopolizing the public square,” Perkins concluded, blasting the SPLC's “ties to domestic terrorism” and its “dangerous extremism” that have led more than a few organizations to sever ties with it. “And with that responsibility comes a higher expectation that civil conversations will be allowed. Just because Google — or its flaggers — disagree with someone doesn't mean they should shut them down. This growing understanding that Big Tech is picking and choosing who can speak in the virtual public square may help explain why there's been a jump in the number of Americans who want to see more government regulation.” And indeed, numerous voices have called for regulation in recent days, even among those who normally eschew unconstitutional government actions.
Multiple heavy-hitting commentators have also sounded the alarm about the new revelations. Speaking of the partnership between Google/YouTube and the SPLC, Fox News star Tucker Carlson slammed the Internet giant for relying on a “wholly discredited hate group” to police its platform. “One of those trusted flaggers is not trusted at all — it's the Southern Poverty Law Center,” said Carlson, sounding flabbergasted. “It's not an expert on the South, or poverty, or the law.” In short, the SPLC is itself a hate group, according to Carlson and a broad range of experts across the political spectrum, including many on the Left. His guest, tech entrepreneur Eric Schiffer, called the SPLC's involvement “an outrage” and said YouTube owes patriotic Americans an apology for this “gross oversight.”
Carlson also switched over to a segment on the SPLC by popular libertarian Fox News personality John Stossel, who skewered the fringe left-wing group for hyping phony hate and smearing people who do not deserve to be smeared. The SPLC, Stossel noted, has listed U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, popular media personality Laura Ingraham, and Judge Jeannie Pierro as “extremists.” On the other hand, the SPLC does not list, for example, the violent hate group Antifa on its list, despite that extremist organization's long track-record of violence, brutality, hate, and extremism. “The Center has become a hate group itself,” Stossel warned. “It's now a left-wing, money-grabbing slander machine.” Indeed, the outfit has hundreds of millions of dollars in the bank.
For those unfamiliar with the SPLC, The New American has been exposing the group for many years. It considers The John Birch Society, an affiliate of this magazine, to be a “patriot group,” with patriot meant as a derogatory remark. In the Law Enforcement Charitable Foundation's Intelligence Brief, which goes to all police chiefs and sheriffs in America, the SPLC was exposed for, among other things, celebrating as a “highly respected figure” Bill Ayers. In reality, Ayers is one of America's most notorious domestic terrorists — a man whose Castro-backed terrorist organization bombed police, the Pentagon, the State Department, Capitol Hill, and more. The FBI's asset within Ayers' terror group, Larry Grathwohl, said the communist organization was plotting to exterminate millions of Americans who could not be “re-educated” once foreign communist regimes invaded.
The intelligence brief for law enforcement also points out how misleading and dishonest much of the SPLC's propaganda has become. For instance, the SPLC's Ryan Lenz claimed to be exposing a vast “anti-Indian movement,” without ever mentioning that the “matriarch of the movement,” as the SPLC put it, is actually a Cherokee Indian. The SPLC has also been caught trying to demonize Christians, Orthodox Jews, and other God-fearing Americans in the eyes of government agencies. Following a number of high-profile scandals, though, even Obama's bureaucracies were forced to sever ties with the SPLC. A number of prominent left-wing activists and civil-rights leaders have slammed the SPLC as scam artists or worse. And SPLC founder Morris Dees has been the subject of intense criticism, especially after he was accused in court documents of beating his wife and sexually molesting his underage step-daughter.
The extensiveness of SPLC's role in YouTube's ongoing campaign to silence conservatives remains unclear. But in recent days, the video-hosting platform has become increasingly aggressive in silencing right-of-center voices — including even prominent, mainstream conservative commentators, as well as videos exposing violence and hate among leftist groups such as Antifa. Among those whose channels have been suspended are classical liberal Carl Benjamin, investigative journalist Jerome Corsi, and more. Alex Jones' enormously influential Infowars has also received “strikes” from YouTube. And a video of Antifa thugs shouting violent threats posted by Mike Cernovich was taken down, leading the commentator to conclude that YouTube endorses far-left violence against conservatives. Even PragerU was censored, sparking a lawsuit against the video site. Some of the actions by YouTube were reversed following a massive outcry, but the censorship has only been getting more extreme.
As The New American has documented extensively, the new-age “robber barons” of social media all have intimate links to government — and in some cases they are or were funded by government. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who now owns the Washington Post, has massive contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency. And the CIA's investment arm In-Q-Tel helped finance many of the Internet giants that are today censoring conservative viewpoints. The Big Tech bosses also have extensive links to the Deep State Behind the Deep State, with many of them, including former Google boss Eric Schmidt, attending Bilderberg meetings, the occultist Bohemian Grove, and more. More than a few are also members of the globalist-minded swamp known as the Council on Foreign Relations.
And the Internet giants' affinity for censoring conservatives is no secret. In Europe, the big-tech companies boldly announced their intentions to censor “hate” and “extremism,” which for many EU governments includes the Bible, opposition to mass immigration, the scientific fact that there are only two sexes, and more. The United Nations, known to critics as the “dictators club,” has also been on the warpath, demanding that Internet companies censor ideas that the globalist establishment disagrees with. Unsurprisingly, totalitarian governments — especially the mass-murdering Communist Chinese regime — have been leading the charge for global Internet censorship. But U.S.-based Internet companies have only been too happy to join the jihad against free speech, and especially against conservative, anti-globalist speech.
In the days ahead, more lawsuits and efforts to regulate the companies will emerge. And while calls for federal regulation of the Internet giants may sound appealing, it is important to recognize that the federal government does not have the constitutional authority to intervene. Instead of seeking further usurpations of power by the feds, Americans would be best served by using the free market to bypass obstacles to free speech set up by left-wing globalist companies in the establishment's pocket. If YouTube will not allow free speech, Americans can migrate over to services that do. If such services do not yet exist, smart entrepreneurs will surely create them. If Google continues to manipulate its search results to bury conservative content, consumers will naturally begin to use other services. And as Facebook becomes infamous for spying on and manipulating its users, it will no doubt face consequences, too.
It is lamentable that a major company such as YouTube would partner with fringe left-wing hate groups to silence patriots and conservatives. But it is not surprising. Ultimately, the free market will be the key to ensuring that free speech survives — whether YouTube, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Microsoft and their allies like it or not. The truth is far too powerful to be shut down.