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YouTube Suspends Steven Crowder After Interview With Kari Lake

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YouTube has suspended the account of a conservative commentator after he interviewed Arizona Republican gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Steven Crowder wrote, “Wow. Won’t be able to steam [sic] to [YouTube] because of comments from a CURRENT GUBERNATORIAL candidate. On a show with all references provided. If this isn’t suppression of political speech, then nothing is.”

He shared an email he received from the video streaming service that stated, “Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our misinformation policy.”

The email added that Crowder’s interview with Lake had been removed from YouTube.

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The email explained that content that “advances false claims widespread fraud, errors, or glitches, changed the outcome of the U.S. 2020 presidential election is not allowed on YouTube.”

That’s a pretty clear policy to understand.

And given that Lake has claimed that the country’s election system is “rotten to the core” and vowed that she will not “stop talking about it until our elected official stand up and do something,” the chances were high that she would say something which violated the platform’s policy.

Do you think the account should have been suspended?

So Crowder should have been aware that there was a good chance the video would have been taken down.

A post on Crowder’s site explained that he will be “unable to live stream on YouTube for the next two weeks.”

Despite claims that there was widespread fraud in the 2020 election, several recounts and legal challenges failed to find evidence to substantiate them or alter the outcome of the election.

YouTube should be able to moderate content on its platform. It’s not a government agency. It can decide what kind of content it wants to host.

But it’s a rather silly policy to ban accounts that interview candidates for elected office who repeat unfounded claims about the election.

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Words are not violence, and people should be able to hear what they have to say — even if it’s crazy, ridiculous theories.

And if candidates want to repeat conspiracy theories and lies, voters deserve to know that about them.

Rather than take down the video and suspend Crowder’s account, it would have been better to add a link that would include facts about the election to dispute Lake’s claims.

The action YouTube took will prevent users from hearing the claims on its platform. But Crowder has been sharing the interview on streaming services and sharing links to it on Twitter. So it is not shutting down Lake’s claims.

Instead, taking this action increases the chances that people will abandon YouTube and start using services that only feed them the content they want to see and hear without countervailing information, which might lead them down crazier and crazier rabbit holes on other platforms with less moderation.

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