On October 18, 2019, the YouTube channel Red Ice TV was erased. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Red Ice TV is a white nationalist hate site, promoting racist views. At the time of “cancellation,” Red Ice TV had 334,000 subscribers and its videos had been viewed nearly 50 million times.
Today, Red Ice TV is just the latest YouTube channel that never happened. The online megaphone that can reach the world instantly and for pennies, can also in an instant be deleted without a trace. If you click on the link to Red Ice TV’s YouTube channel, you get a generic screen with the message “This channel does not exist.”
But why doesn’t this channel exist, as if it never happened? Why has Lana Lokteff, Red Ice TV’s co-host and co-founder, and the subject of an in-depth interview to conclude this article, been wiped out by YouTube, and every other major online platform?
https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v1_280x30.png00Ed Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v1_280x30.pngEd Ring2019-11-16 11:16:382020-05-02 11:20:51Interviewing the Host of the Channel That Never Happened
On July 30th, 2019, sharing a stage in Detroit with nine other Democrat contenders for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination, Beto O’Rourke outdid himself. His finest moment came midway through the debate in response to a question about racism in America.
In a well rehearsed tirade that went well beyond his allotted time, O’Rourke – who fancies himself a cross between Jack Kerouac and Martin Luther King, with a soupçon of Che Guevara and a dash of Mother Teresa thrown in – denounced America’s entire identity, from founding to the present, as defined by violent white racists. His opening line went something like this:
“This country [dramatic pause, as if the weight of it all is too much for him emotionally], though we would like to think otherwise, was founded on racism, has persisted through racism, and is racist today.”
In another corner of America, someone was watching O’Rourke on July 30th, recording what he was saying and was about to say. This man wasn’t running for president, and he doesn’t work for a major news network. But his name is Vincent James, one of the most data driven video journalists in all of American alternative media. That attention to detail has earned James, and his channel, “The Red Elephants Vincent James,” over 290,000 online subscribers and his videos have been watched over 34 million times, just on YouTube.
Earlier this week YouTube banned three more independent commentators. James Allsup, “The Iconoclast,” and “Way of the World.” Their crime?
Outspoken defense of Western Culture, which apparently is now considered “hate speech.” Taken together, the videos posted by these three commentators had been watched over 100 million times.
The most prominent of these newly banished, James Allsup, had over 450,000 subscribers. Thanks to this latest move by YouTube, America’s defacto Ministry of Truth, nearly a half-million Americans now have less reason than ever to believe their first amendment rights will be protected, and, by extension, any of their constitutional rights. Do the Lords of YouTube fear “right wing extremism?” Then they need to stop taking extreme measures that provoke extreme resentment. They need to stop engaging in fascist censorship.
For those of us who have never considered ourselves extremists, and who don’t necessarily agree with everything that James Allsup and these other banished commentators ever did or said, this is nonetheless a matter of principle. It is intolerable to allow private business interests to lobotomize our collective consciousness in pursuit of their personal political agenda. That should not be happening here, in a nation that considers freedom of speech to be one of its founding principles.
Conservative free speech advocates have been rightly concerned about internet censorship, but the focus of those concerns has been relatively narrow.
Conservatives are pushing back against big tech suppression of online critics of globalism, mass immigration, identity politics. They are pushing back against big tech suppression of pro-Trump commentators. But there is another collection of online voices that have been quietly, and very effectively suppressed; climate skeptics.
Over the past 10-15 years, at the same time as identity politics was assuming a dominant position in America’s corporate, academic and media cultures, climate alarm followed a parallel trajectory. But starting in 2017, when the social media monopolies intensified their online offensive against politically incorrect content, climate skeptic content had already dwindled. It isn’t hard to understand why.
Identity politics, globalism, and mass immigration create obvious winners and losers, with Americans bitterly and almost evenly divided over what policies represent the best moral and practical choices. Policies and principles embracing “Climate change,” by contrast, have conducted their own long, slow march through America’s institutions without encountering serious resistance. Proclaiming one’s belief in climate change dogma carries minimal downside and plenty of upside.
Anyone who doesn’t believe conservatives are being systematically suppressed by the communications monopolies of big tech is either not paying attention, hopelessly biased, or thoroughly brainwashed.
The process of suppression takes many forms. It isn’t merely suppression of conservative viewpoints on the major social media platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter), but suppression of the related apps (Apple, Amazon), exclusion from the principal funding sites (Patreon, Kickstarter, GoFundMe), exclusion from the major online payment processors (PayPal, Stripe), and in some cases even access denial by the ISPs (AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon).
In most cases, suppression has not been total. One of the first to be banished, Alex Jones, still has his “Infowars” website; one of the more recent casualties also survives online as a stand alone, the relaunched Milo Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous” website. But in the monopolistic communications infrastructure of social media platforms, apps and funding sites, they don’t exist. If you don’t know where to look for these orphaned websites, you won’t find them.
If you’re just hearing about the Intellectual Dark Web, or if you’ve heard the term but never delved into its meaning, you might think there is an entire parallel internet out there, filled with subversive content that is too politically incorrect to weather the shadowbans and deboosting algorithms in our well lit, mainstream online world.
Nothing like that exists. The intellectual dark web, such as it is, is indeed a collection of politically incorrect websites, videos, podcasts, and the personalities who fill them with content, but it exists alongside everything else online, however vapidly popular, mainstream and vanilla, safely prurient, angry in all the prescribed ways, funny in all the approved modes.
That’s too bad, perhaps, because the intellectual dark web is not immune to shadowbans, deboosts, detrends, demonetizing, throttling down, or expulsion. These willfully transgressive purveyors of anti-pablum build their audiences while tiptoeing gingerly among the censors, hoping not to cross lines of conduct that are often invisible, shift unpredictably, and are drawn differently depending on who you are. Who are these censors? Not an oppressive government, but instead the private quasi monopolies that control all online communication – the social media and video platforms, the providers of membership services, and the payment processors. Piss them off? Disappear into actual darkness.
https://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v1_280x30.png00Ed Ringhttps://winston84.com/wp-content/uploads/logotext_v1_280x30.pngEd Ring2019-04-13 11:10:132020-05-02 11:28:37The Establishment War of the Intellectual Dark Web