The censorship of free thought

Marissa Soto, Opinion Assistant Editor

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On October 23, 2017, a conservative YouTube channel, PragerU, filed a lawsuit against YouTube for censoring their videos claiming YouTube is unlawfully restricting their educational videos by placing their videos on restricted mode.

Google defines “censor” as, “material that is about to be released, such as books, movies, news, and art, [which a company then] suppresses any parts that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.” Here’s the question: what makes PragerU’s videos “obscene,” “politically unacceptable” (not politically correct) or “a threat to security?” PragerU produces animated videos and interviews that do not contain sexual content. There is nothing visually or verbally obscene about their videos, yet YouTube continues to restrict them.

As for being politically unacceptable, personally, I feel there is no way to be one-hundred percent politically correct. When discussing personal beliefs and values, there’s always going to be someone who is going to get offended by what you say, especially since we are a society that is taught to be politically correct over truthful. Being politically correct isn’t going to solve problems. The talk of racial, sexual, religious or political issues aren’t going to disappear, so I’d rather stand firm in what I believe in rather than try not to offend the easily offended. But for those who’d rather speak the truth than be politically correct, it means they get the short end of the stick.

Also, whose security is being threatened as a result of PragerU’s videos? As far as I’m concerned, no one is harmed from the making or viewing of their videos. There are no threats being made from or to the various guest speakers on the channel, and if the channel was threatening anyone’s security, it would have been reported long before YouTube found and restricted it.

YouTube also says the restricted videos are “inappropriate” for younger viewers. These so-called “inappropriate” videos include “The Most Important Question About Abortion,” “Gender Identity: Why All the Confusion?” and “Are The Police Racist?”. The content of these videos are by no means inappropriate, but they present a conservative point of view on various issues facing our nation. There’s plenty of actual inappropriate content on YouTube that the company should restrict. The fact that YouTube has the right to continue to restrict PragerU and other conservative channels and not restrict actual inappropriate content is upsetting.

For example, “Are The Police Racist?” suggests that police officers aren’t racist (generally a conservative view) and provides evidence from different studies to support their argument and was restricted by YouTube. However, YouTube did NOT restrict a video called, “Real Time with Bill Maher: A System of Racism” from HBO. In this video, Bill Maher and a few others discuss why they believe the police, and America as a whole, is racist (generally a liberal view). The two videos talk about the same issue but present different points of view. However, the video YouTube decided to restrict is the one that they do not agree with. Does that make sense?

People say that the thing that makes America amazing is that it has lots of diversity, and I agree. So let’s keep America diverse with opinions that everyone may or may not agree with, but are truly not worth censoring.

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The censorship of free thought