Time to put YouTube in the “social media platforms to be used carefully” category. Not that we didn’t already know this, but this week Sharyl Attkisson, formerly of CBS news and now having her own online news outlet, Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, was informed that the content uploaded to the YouTube channel associated with her website “violates community standards.”
Before too many people get their panties in a wad and their shorts in a bundle, it is worth remembering when it comes to social media that the majority of the platforms are either privately owned, or are publicly traded companies with boards of directors. The people that actually own these websites and services can set “community standards” for whatever they want. In the case of YouTube, the broadcast yourself site was purchased by Google in 2006. So, really, everything that is posted there is subject to the “community standards” Google decides they are going to impose on America this week.
(Yes, they are all chums with the Obama White House, but so far, that’s all hearsay and not admissible as evidence of collusion.)
That being said, according to Ms. Attkisson, all she and her team did was post news stories done for her Full Measure outlet. All videos are posted to their website. Readers can visit Full Measure and judge the content for themselves as to whether or not their offerings violate what we could consider “community standards” or this is Google’s way of controlling content available for public consumption.
Naturally, there is quite an uproar over this move on social media, and that groundswell is covered most thoroughly at Twitchy. What is not made clear is which video was deemed to violate any sort of rules. Ms. Attkisson made a name for herself deeply investigating the scandals of the Obama Administration that the mainstream media refused to cover with any sort of integrity: Benghazi and Fast and Furious. A cursory glance at Full Measure indicates that with her own website, Ms. Attkisson continues this effort to the best of her ability in a way that all members of a free press should. Some of us may not like what she has to say or how she says it, but we will defend her right to do so on an open and free internet.
YouTube, on the other hand, just like the rest of the content on the web, those who post are at the mercy of Google in a way. Not only do they control quite a number of platforms, but they set the standard for search engine criteria in their algorithms. Not much the rest of us can do about that but play along.
By the way, Google is now owned by its holding company, Alphabet, Inc. For more information on who controls this massive conglomerate, see the Wikipedia page.