Matt Taibbi–a former Rolling Stone reporter who was red pilled some time ago–is going on a tear about YouTube. It is glorious to behold.
A bit of background: Taibbi published a video produced by Matt Orfalea detailing the misinformation campaign used to discredit the Hunter Biden laptop just prior to the 2020 election. Every Mainstream Media outlet pushed the Narrative™ that the New York Post’s reporting on the laptop was simply a repetition of Russian misinformation.
The FBI encouraged Facebook to censor the video–that is straight from Mark Zuckerberg–and all social media outlets followed the diktat from the Establishment™ to downplay and debunk the story as false. And, of course, they complied. It is was the most blatant form of censorship and narrative building in recent years.
Now everybody agrees the laptop is real. More than 2 years after it mattered to the election, even CBS News, one of the last holdouts, has admitted in a breathless “exclusive” report that the laptop and its contents are genuine. Ed wrote about it here yesterday, as did I in a later commentary.
Taibbi’s angle on the story is different, though. Not only was the video he published 100% correct, but it is still labeled as disinformation on the site, while vast quantities of actual misinformation from MSM sources are all up, unpunished for misinformation, and still among the first videos pushed by YouTube when searching for information on the laptop story.
YouTube, despite all evidence to the contrary, is labeling true information as false, and false information as true. All while punishing the producer of the video by putting a strike against the account that could result in expulsion from the platform. It is a masterclass in disinformation itself.
YouTube also pushed this disinformation campaign. It still does. Despite the total absence of evidence ever existing that the laptop was either fake or part of a Russian “information operation” and a growing pile of evidence that the laptop is real, YouTube continues to leave unmolested on its site countless videos promoting the conspiracy theory — that’s what it is, let’s be clear — that the laptop story is both bunk and an intelligence op.
Taibbi links to a series of videos from MSM outlets pushing the “Russian disinformation” narrative that has proven to be utterly false. You should read his story to get a flavor of how pervasive and nearly panicked the rush to discredit the laptop was, and how shamelessly the media pushed a clearly false narrative.
They had to know that the laptop was likely real–the New York Post made the evidence it was public.
YouTube and Google now become exhibit A in the ultimate truth about any attempt to “moderate” content at scale. If you make even a good-faith effort to weed out “disinformation,” relying on official bodies to help, what you’ll be left with is… official disinformation.
But this isn’t a good-faith effort to weed out untruths. YouTube has become a place that censors true content but traffics in official and quasi-official deceptions. It’s become indistinguishable from a state censorship bureau. If they feel they’re right about their decisions, they should be happy to explain themselves to people me. Until then, they can expect more love letters from this address.
This last point is vital to understand. Even if it were desirable to weed out disinformation, it is nearly impossible to identify it. All the players involved have axes to grind, and not matter how you approach the matter it will all boil down to “I don’t like what they are saying.”
As unsatisfying as it may be, suppression of even awful ideas is both impossible in practice and dangerous as well. It becomes an exercise in whack a mole with actual untruths and narrative enforcement with everything else.
In other words, unless people are advocating actual violence or promoting it, best to leave things be. Otherwise you wind up with this.