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By Douglas Moran

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About this blog: Real power doesn't reside with those who make the final decision, but with those who decide what qualifies as the viable choices. I stumbled across this insight as a teenager (in the 1960s). As a grad student, I belonged to an org...  (More)

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YouTube punishes publicizing of UK gangs sexually exploiting children

Uploaded: Jun 6, 2019
There is corporate PR and then there is reality. The New York Times reported "^YouTube to Remove Thousands of Videos Pushing Extreme Views^" (tiered subscription) (by Kevin Roose and Kate Conger, 2019-06-05) "...videos and channels that advocate neo-Nazism, white supremacy and other bigoted ideologies in an attempt to clean up extremism and hate speech on its popular service." The YouTube blog post "^Our ongoing work to tackle hate^" was even less informative.

One of the prime targets was the channel ^Louder with Crowder^ by conservative comedian Steven Crowder. According to his account of his interactions with YouTube,(foot#1) YouTube stated in a phone call with him, and a subsequent tweet, that there was "a pattern of egregious actions has harmed the broader community and is against out YouTube Partner Program Policies." However, they could cite only three videos, and couldn't give details. In a follow-up email that was supposed to provide an expanded list and details, only two videos were cited, and with no details. Note: It is the long-standing practice of YouTube to claim violations, but refuse to identify what or where in the video that the violation occurred, or even which general category it was. Yes, the unfairness of, and problems with, this approach has been pointed out to YouTube for years, but they persist.

One of the cited videos was a reading of the Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's "Green New Deal".(foot#2) Did YouTube mean to declare "Green New Deal" as "extremism", "harmful misinformation", "hate speech", ???
This is the video that was omitted from the email. Perhaps YouTube realized how ridiculous this claim was.

The second video included a discussion about Trump's ban on transgender people in the military, and included a roughly 20-minute discussion with a transgender woman, Blaire White, who is -- gasp! -- a Conservative. Some Progressives are deeply offended when members of various identity groups don't conform to their assigned stereotypes. Could YouTube similarly have found this to be just too offensive to their political agenda? (foot#3) I haven't watched that video, but expect that it was friendly with bantering: In his videos that I have watched, he is much gentler than I here.

The third of the cited videos was an interview with a British woman leading one of several campaigns against "grooming gangs" in many English cities.(foot#4) ^Child grooming^ covers a variety of techniques -- drugs, alcohol, psychology ... -- to make children vulnerable to various types of sexual exploitation: rape, gang rape, trafficking, prostitution ... The gangs' targets were mostly girls, often as young as 11 and sometimes 9. They were vulnerable in many ways: dysfunctional parents, in state care, developmentally disabled, ... The grooming gang members were predominantly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origins, and their religious attitudes toward non-Muslims reportedly played a significant role. The exploited children included were ethnic English, Sikhs, Hindus, and Blacks. There are gangs in so many cities -- arrests and prosecutions are ongoing -- that descriptions and statistics can be very different.

In the city of Rotherham alone, the official estimate is that at least 1400 girls were sexually exploited over the decades that the grooming gangs operated freely.(foot#5) All the estimates I have seen for the total number of rapes of children by these gangs are over a million, even multiple millions.(foot#6)

I heard of these gangs during a discussion of the betrayal of the elites of citizens at the lower levels of society. The existence of these grooming gangs was well-known to the police, social services, prosecutors, the press, and public officials, including politicians at the national level. In numerous cases, these public employees refused to pursue obvious cases on the basis that the girls were such trash that they probably voluntarily entered into exploitation. But there were also many, mostly anonymous, accounts from police officers and others who had tried to pursue the cases. They said that they were ordered off the cases, or warned or threatened that they would likely face a career-ending accusation of "racism" that could follow them and impede their efforts to find other livelihoods.

Some of the British politicians reportedly had concerns about "collective guilt": If the activities of the grooming gangs were revealed, the broader British population would react as if all Muslims or Pakistanis were responsible. Rather than risk that, they decided to allow the child exploitation to continue, for both current and new victims. Did they think that working-class neighborhoods wouldn't notice what was happening in their very midst? One of the leaders of the working-class populist revolt against the British Establishment was reportedly inspired by a close relative having been ensnared by a grooming gang.

Before you say "That wouldn't happen here!", recognize that the underlying attitudes are already established. For example, when someone expresses concerns about violent criminals being among those illegally crossing the border from Mexico, they are branded "racists" and falsely characterized as saying that all of those immigrants are violent criminals.

----Questions for YouTube employees----

If you are a YouTube employee, ask your management why this is a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service. Wouldn't further publicizing on-going large-scale child exploitation help by putting or maintaining pressure on officials, especially those in organizations with a decades-long track record of "sweeping it under the carpet".

If you know YouTube employees, encourage them to ask questions such as this and to leak interesting answers to those who can safely publish it (whistle-blowing is probably too dangerous to their careers).

If you are at an event attended by YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, try to ask her about her brand of feminism and how far up in society child sexual exploitation can be ignored for the sake of politics. Is it just the poor and working class? Or does it extend into the middle-class that isn't professional class?

I won't be surprised if YouTube tries to explain this away by saying, in effect, that it was just too much trouble to behave responsibly and to check facts before going after people's livelihoods. I will be surprised if they admit that the over 3-year-old video was only a rationalization to suppress a political viewpoint contrary to their agenda.

Whatever the case, shaming them could be useful in causing them to think a smidgen longer the next time.

1. Crowder's account of his interaction with YouTube:
Video ^The #VoxAdpocalypse is coming for YOU!^is 47:27 long.

2. Crowder Green New Deal video:
^Crowder Reads the Green New Deal^ (16:02) - , 2019-03-28.

3. Crowder video with interview with conservative transgender woman:
^#204 TRANS TROOP BAN, OH NO!! Blaire White and Alex Epstein^ (1:16:03) - , 2017-07-28.

4. Crowder video of interview on grooming gangs:
^Muslim Rape In UK Exposed by Toni Bugle^ (47:51), 2015-10-17.

5. ^Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal^: This Wikipedia article is a good starting point for the names and terminology used.

6. More starting points for background on events:
A couple of references I found among my bookmarks. I can't vouch for any of these: The British Establishment press has even a worse reputation than the major media outlets in the US.
- "^Rotherham child abuse: The background to the scandal^" - BBC News, 2015-02-05.
Lede: A report commissioned in the wake of revelations that "at least" 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham has branded the local authority "not fit for purpose" and left it facing takeover by government commissioners. How did it reach this point?
- "^Britain's 'worst ever' child grooming scandal exposed: Hundreds of young girls raped, beaten, sold for sex and some even KILLED^" by Nick Sommerlad and Geraldine McKelvie - Mirror (UK), 2018-03-11.
Lede: Authorities failed to act over 40 years -- despite repeated warnings to social workers -- with up to 1,000 girls, some as young as 11, abused in Telford.
- ^The BBC's shameful silence on the Telford sex scandal^ by Douglas Murray - Coffee House blog, The Spectator (UK), 2018-03-12.
Not just the BBC, but other important media outlets and the Establishment.Dare I say the Inner Party (1984 reference).
- "^Grooming gang victim: 'I was raped by more than 100 men but police arrested me not them' ^ " - Mirror (UK), 2019-05-18.
Lede: Woman, now 23, who was raped by more than 100 men tells how SHE was repeatedly arrested by police and even now she receives death threats.

An ^abbreviated index by topic and chronologically^ is available.

----Boilerplate on Commenting----
The ^Guidelines^ for comments on this blog are different from those on Town Square Forums. I am attempting to foster more civility and substantive comments by deleting violations of the guidelines.

I am particularly strict about misrepresenting what others have said (me or other commenters). If I judge your comment as likely to provoke a response of "That is not what was said", do not be surprised to have it deleted. My primary goal is to avoid unnecessary and undesirable back-and-forth, but such misrepresentations also indicate that the author is unwilling/unable to participate in a meaningful, respectful conversation on the topic.
A slur is not an argument. Neither are other forms of vilification of other participants.

If you behave like a ^Troll^, do not waste your time protesting when you get treated like one.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Brian, a resident of another community,
on Jun 8, 2019 at 11:45 am

Have you asked you tube for their take on the issue? As a private company, you tube has the right to remove what they want.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 8, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "Have you asked you tube for their take on this issue?"

When YouTube was asked for details by YouTuber Crowder during a phone call, they refused to identify even the location(s) in the video that were violations, much less describe what that violation was (paragraph 2 in this blog). Over the years, I have heard the same complaint from other YouTubers who were cited for unspecified violations.

> "As a private company, you tube has the right to remove what they want."

The subject of whether they should have such a right is irrelevant for this discussion.
The question is what does YouTube's decision that such video is a violation say about YouTube.

The YouTube purge has gotten worse:
- Tweet from MIT Technology Review @2019-06-08 03:18 AM : "YouTube is deleting thousands of channels with videos of Nazi history. But not multiple teachers are complaining that videos uploaded to educate people have been deleted."
- "YouTube blocks history teachers uploading archive videos of Hitler: Teachers trying to educate about fascism hit by service’s new policy on hate speech" - The Guardian, 2019-06-06.
These include video segments from that well-known Nazi organization the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). (dripping sarcasm)

YouTube's deletion of the history of Nazi Germany and its horrors is nothing new. It had been already been going on for years when it was a topic of my blog " Swastikas, censorship, false positives and kittens", 2017-09-07.
YouTube will likely attribute this to "false positives" (mentioned in that earlier blog), but what are we to infer from videos that survived the old algorithm now be deleted/demonized by the new one?

Posted by Tempest in a teapot, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 8, 2019 at 4:22 pm

“The subject of whether they should have such a right is irrelevant for this discussion.
The question is what does YouTube's decision that such video is a violation say about YouTube"

Then the whole discussion is irrelevant ( and borders on stirring the pot). You tube has the right to delete, they exercised that right. What that says about you tube is probably irrelevant to them. Your option is not to use you tube , if you are so upset about their actions.
It reminds me of the publisher of the PA weekly, when people complain about the editing (censorship) on TSF, johnson has stated that the paper is his and he has the right to remove what he wants. And if you do not like it, you can choose another forum for your comments. So what does that say about the PA weekly or any other website ,that removes content it finds objectionable.

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 8, 2019 at 5:22 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Tempest in a teapot

The issue of whether YouTube has such a "right" is a major debate, which you seem to be unaware of. I also regard this comment as disingenuous in comparing the Palo Alto Weekly, which is in a highly competitive market, with a monopoly (legal definition) such as YouTube. And the PAW's editing that I have seen has been for maintaining civil discourse, not to suppress legitimate viewpoints.

For those interested in pursuing elsewhere:

1. YouTube, and other social media giants, claim two contradictory roles: being a carrier, such as a phone company, and being a publisher. It is long established in law that these are two contradictory roles, with different rights and responsibilities. YouTube, and other social media companies, claim the rights of both while rejecting various of the responsibilities as it benefits them for the particular instance and moment.

2. The claims about the rights of such private companies are often based on economic theory appropriate for the early 1800s -- before the Second Industrial Revolution, monopolies,... For example, consider a railroad in the late 1800s or early 1900s. In a national economy, by refusing to transport supplies to a company and its products to its customers, it could destroy a business or take control. Similarly, major customers of railroads could force the railroads to give them steep discounts, forcing smaller competitors out of business or into being acquired cheaply (see John D Rockefeller). To address this, railroads (and similar monopolies) were legally classified as "common carriers". In today's information economy, social media companies have a similar role, but want to behave as the predatory monopolies of over a century ago. Most of the current discussion about these monopolies is about how to control their damaging effects.

Posted by Curmudgeon, a resident of Downtown North,
on Jun 11, 2019 at 6:02 pm

"the Palo Alto Weekly, which is in a highly competitive market,"

News to me. Where's the competition?

Nice verbal tap dance, BTW. Are you also a lawyer?

Posted by Douglas Moran, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Jun 11, 2019 at 6:15 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "...a highly competitive market. News to me. Where's the competition?"

Daily Post
The Bay Area News Group: Daily News, Mercury News, ...
SF Chronicle

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