Censoriously Yours

Yesterday in my e-mail, I received a notice from PragerU that they were suing Google, the owner of YouTube, over the way that their videos have been treated.  According to their statement, more than 40 videos had been flagged as inappropriate according to the community guidelines of the video site.  Anyone who has ever watched one of the videos by PragerU is aware that there is nothing inappropriate about the videos, given that they are short and succinct treatments of subjects that give obvious truths about history and culture from a sound worldview.  My own personal favorite videos that I have seen involve people giving their own personal accounts of ways that they have overcome the toxic and corrupt identity politics of the left, such as the one about an Israeli Arab who volunteered for the IDF even though he did not have to serve, so that he could protect his country from the threat of terrorism.  I find these videos to be informative and/or heartwarming, and when one considers the sort of filth that escapes the censors at YouTube, one has to conclude with PragerU that the harsh treatment of their videos is due to ideological bias.

Such ideological bias, lamentably, is all around us [1].  Regularly I have to prune the news that shows up on my Facebook feed because of the unacceptable political bias used in the titles and summaries of the story.  For example, one reads about a government contract being labeled as shady, or one reads a complaint that a college football game becomes a patriotic showcase, or one reads about how NBC plans on putting its cameras on whiny protesters of the national anthem.  By lopping and cropping such biased stories and framing when I see them listed, I hope that Facebook gets the signal and stops showing offensive news.  I do the same in my news feed, blocking leftist sites that generate offensive memes or partisan political posts that I am simply not interested in seeing.  In my e-mail I regularly see articles with titles like “Trump’s Ambassador to the Netherlands…” which always makes me wonder why those who claim to be reputable newspapers do not understand that Trump has no foreign ambassadors, but rather those who serve in such a capacity represent all of us, no matter who nominates them.  In the attempt to demonize our current political leadership, such institutions who engage in such obvious and tiresome and pervasive leftist bias only attack their own credibility and make themselves more worthy of being opposed or ignored, depending on whatever mood strikes people on that particular occasion.

Some might wonder whether a lawsuit is the correct approach to a website that wishes to present the obvious truths of PragerU from being accessible to impressionable children that might be susceptible to the truths as opposed to the fashionable lies that are often sold by mainstream media.  Some might say that it would be better to build institutions that provide a trustworthy source of information for children to see where PragerU would be easy to find and easy to appreciate.  As for me, I do not see a problem in conducting a complex combination of tactics both to build better institutions that are open to truth as well as pursing a strategy of litigation to punish corrupt institutions that seek to present themselves as gatekeepers to society but who abuse that power to shield corrupt and wicked worldviews from proper scrutiny.  There will be some people who excel at building up institutions and providing worthwhile content to serve as a draw that will reduce the cultural power of existing corrupt cultural gatekeepers while there will be others who excel at tearing down those who seek to preserve false ideologies from critique.  Some will do a bit of both, but all can work together to present both a positive vision as well as an assault on evil where it can be found, and it is sadly not all that hard to find.

But to what extent could new institutions build up trust?  It is easy to see that the ideologically-based filtering and presentation of news, and the exclusion of more accurate perspectives, is a serious problem.  Yet one can readily imagine scenarios where alternative institutions would suffer from the same kinds of problems.  Would a generally conservative search engine, if one was made, discriminate on a site for being the wrong sort of conservative, say, for being hostile towards libertarians and having moderate opinions about matters of social justice while being strongly religiously conservative?  Would a Christian online institution discriminate against a blog like this one because of my beliefs as a non-Trinitarian Sabbatarian?  Would a Church of God institution look askance at my own frequent reading and praise of non-sectarian literature and my critical opinions about our denominational history?  I hope I may be forgiven, at least, if such questions seem somewhat self-absorbed.  In a world of closing minds–including my own–where there is increasingly little tolerance for offensive biases on the part of others, how can we preserve spaces that are open to all, and where our opinions and beliefs and understandings have a chance to find an audience willing to hear us and take what we have to say seriously even if that perspective is different than their own?  Are we doomed to create echo chambers where we only see that which corresponds to our existing ideas and prejudices and biases, and where we have little if any familiarity with how anyone else sees the world?

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/16/an-open-letter-to-the-washington-post/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/08/09/the-google-diversity-memo-a-question-of-framing/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/11/26/book-review-blue-collar-conservatives/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/10/11/book-review-the-antifa-handbook/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/06/16/a-summer-of-resistance/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Musings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Censoriously Yours

  1. Pingback: On The High Cost Of Civility | Edge Induced Cohesion

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