WORST Censorship of November: Big Tech Election Interference and More

December 5th, 2023 2:02 PM

Americans just celebrated the quintessential US holiday, Thanksgiving, but Big Tech was far more dedicated to attacking freedom than celebrating it.

Multiple Big Tech companies, including Google, TikTok, Meta, and LinkedIn, targeted President Joe Biden‘s 2024 election opponents online. YouTube removed videos on two Steven Crowder channels for featuring the previously-censored Dan Bongino. The video platform also censored Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for discussing an MRC exposé of Hamas-tied propaganda. Human Events Senior Editor Jack Posobiec was censored on X (formerly Twitter) for sharing video footage of the Jan. 6 Capitol protest apparently showing law enforcement brutality. And Not the Bee also found itself the target of YouTube censorship after posting content about the alleged transgender shooter manifesto. Not to be outdone, Vimeo ironically censored a speech about censorship. Finally, YouTube continues to target hunting content.

Below are the worst examples of censorship from the month of November.

1) Big Tech engages in alarming election-interfering censorship. A new MRC Free Speech America study found that Big Tech manipulated the message of 23 of the 2024 presidential candidates at least once. Social media companies especially targeted and harmed opponents of incumbent Democrat President Joe Biden. MRC researchers recorded a total of 169 cases of censorship against the 2024 presidential primary candidates to date in MRC’s exclusive CensorTrack.org database. A stunning total of 162 of those cases targeted Biden’s opponents. Fact-checks, deleted content and accounts, and censorship of candidates’ campaign websites are among Big Tech’s efforts to silence the online voices of those who seek to represent and lead the United States, from Republican candidates Donald Trump and Vivek Ramaswamy to Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

2) YouTube suppresses hunting video, continuing longtime censorship of hunting content. Popular YouTuber Cameron Hanes uploaded a recent video to his channel titled: "San Carlos Elk Dreams at Dusk: ep 4: A Month in the Mountains.” YouTube imposed an age restriction with a notice for adults logged into an age-verified account still receiving a message that read, "This video may be inappropriate for some users." Users had to click a button saying, "I understand and wish to proceed." The video depicts elk hunting with the use of bows, as well as field dressing of the animal. The account has numerous other similar videos, none of which received an age restriction. After MRC Free Speech reached out to YouTube on Nov. 30, the platform removed its age restriction on the video.

3) YouTube censors Ted Cruz for highlighting MRC exposé of Gaza propaganda. YouTube was on an anti-free speech roll this month. The platform placed a controversial age restriction banner on the Nov. 14 episode of Sen. Ted Cruz’s The Verdict podcast. Cruz and co-host Ben Ferguson highlighted a study by MRC NewsBusters exposing the “Big Three” networks of ABC, CBS and NBC for using dubious footage from Saleh Aljafarawi. His videos have gone viral after he was accused of being a crisis actor in the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip. The videos he posted of supposed Palestinian victims have subsequently been debunked as not real, according to previous MRC reporting. “This video may be inappropriate for some users,” YouTube’s warning to potential viewers read, asking users to log in and “confirm” their age. Even after logging in, viewers received the notification, “Viewer discretion is advised” because “The following content may contain graphic or violent imagery.”

Yet the allegedly “graphic” content is fake propaganda put on by actor Aljafarawi, as reported by MRC. Cruz and Ferguson slammed the videos for pretending to show Gazan casualties. Aljafarawi himself has played a variety of roles, from a member of Hamas to a patient in a hospital. 

4) YouTube targets frequently-censored host of Louder with Crowder. Steven Crowder co-hosted an episode of his show Louder with Crowder as a mashup episode with Dan Bongino's Bongino Report in one long doubleheader episode of both shows. Bongino and Crowder discussed a wide range of topics during the show, from the Israel-Hamas war to the manifesto of the transgender Nashville shooter and more. 

“One More Strike & We're Banned,” Crowder announced on X (formerly Twitter) with a screenshot of an email YouTube sent to Crowder. The email asserted, "Per our policies, if you post content previously removed for violating our Terms of Service, content produced by creators with a current restriction, or content creators who have been terminated under our Terms, the content may be removed and your account may be penalized. Dan Bongino's channel Dan Bongino, was terminated from YouTube in January." The platform yanked a video on the Steven Crowder channel, which received its first strike and was suspended for one week. YouTube also removed a video from the CrowderBits channel, which received its second strike and was suspended for two weeks. YouTube has a three-strikes system, which removes a channel if it receives a warning and three strikes within a 90-day period.

5) X (Twitter) imposes filter on video clip of Capitol police appearing to fire grenades, rubber bullets into a protest crowd. Video footage of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol protest released by House Speaker Mike Johnson continues to trigger Big Tech, it seems. Human Events Senior Editor Posobiec posted a video clip on X Nov. 19 of Jan. 6 protestors being injured as Capitol police fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Posobiec commented, “NOW: You can watch the footage right here[.] The Capitol Police fired into a peaceful crowd. No warnings were given[.]  This is what @RaheemKassam and I have said since Day One when we saw it.” X imposed a sensitive content filter on the post, which requires users to adjust their settings or click through to view.

6) YouTube censors video about alleged transgender shooter manifesto. Louder with Crowder host Steven Crowder obtained several pages of the alleged manifesto of Audrey Hale, a biological woman who identified as a man and killed six—including children—at a Christian elementary school in March. Afterwards, Not the Bee, the sister site of The Babylon Bee, put together a video discussing the manifesto: "If the LEAKED Nashville Shooter Manifesto is legit, what does it say about censorship in the US?" Similar to what happened when Crowder posted a video about the manifesto on his own YouTube channel, YouTube purportedly removed the video that Not the Bee uploaded to its channel. YouTube cited its "violent criminal organizations policy" as justification for the censorship, according to a screenshot shared on X by Bee CEO Seth Dillon.

A YouTube spokesperson asserted in response to an inquiry from MRC Free Speech America that guidelines “prohibit linking to content containing manifestos from individuals who have committed violent attacks, including the tragic event that took place in Nashville Tennessee in February of 2023.” The shooting itself took place in March. 

7) Vimeo ironically censors speech about censorship. The Babylon Bee CEO Seth Dillon spoke at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend. During his speech, Dillon discussed Big Tech’s ongoing censorship of his satire site and its fight for freedom of speech. After the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC) posted Dillon’s speech on Vimeo, the video platform removed it and banned the Freedom Center’s channel because the video highlighted Dillon, according to DHFC investigative journalist and writer Daniel Greenfield. The DHFC’s channel now brings up an error message on Vimeo. The Restoration Weekend addressed many controversial topics, but Greenfield declared that Vimeo cited Dillon’s talk as the reason for its censorship. Specifically, Vimeo reportedly repeated Twitter’s former accusation of “Hate Speech.”