A growing number of conservative groups are speaking out against YouTube’s decision to enlist the Southern Poverty Law Center to help it identify offensive video content.
SPLC began monitoring YouTube for hate speech earlier this month.
As The Daily Caller reported:
The left-wing nonprofit — which has more recently come under fire for labeling legitimate conservative organizations as “hate groups” — is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers” program, a source with knowledge of the arrangement told TheDC.
The SPLC and other program members help police YouTube for extremist content, ranging from so-called hate speech to terrorist recruiting videos.
All of the groups in the program have confidentiality agreements, a spokesperson for Google, YouTube’s parent company, previously told TheDC. A handful of YouTube’s “Trusted Flaggers,” including the Anti-Defamation League and No Hate Speech — a European organization focused on combatting intolerance — have gone public with their participation in the program. The vast majority of the groups in the program have remained hidden behind their confidentiality agreements.
While YouTube is certainly within its rights to police content on its platform in any way it wishes, this is bad news for conservative groups and individuals who have been unfairly accused of hate and extremism by SPLC in recent years.
And, according to The Hill, they’re beginning to speak out:
Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of The Daily Caller, seized on the story, criticizing the SPLC as a “wholly discredited hate group.”
The SPLC has been a civil rights stalwart for decades, with its focus on legal tactics helping to cripple the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and other white supremacist groups.
But in recent years, particularly since the election of President Trump, conservatives have criticized the SPLC of straying beyond its original focus on racial extremists. They accuse the group of conflating conservative speech with hate speech, with some detractors accusing the SPLC of fomenting some hate of its own — against conservatives.
Now that the SPLC is helping to police extremist content on social media, conservatives are claiming censorship.
“It speaks more to YouTube than it does to the SPLC. It’s not surprising at all that the SPLC is doing this sort of thing,” said Brent Bozell, the head of the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog.
“YouTube has a legal right to do whatever it wants in this space, but it has no ethical right to project itself as some kind of objective purveyor of information when it not only aligns itself with radical groups, but won’t be transparent on how it’s doing business,” Bozell said.