Unelected New York Gov. Praises YouTube’s Censorship Of ‘Abortion Misinformation’
Will the online public square ever be truly free? Google-owned tech giant YouTube recently received praise from the unelected governor of New York Kathy Hochul after the platform announced their intention to censor any and all videos that in their view promote “abortion misinformation.”
“Starting today and ramping up over the next few weeks, we will remove content that provides instructions for unsafe abortion methods or promotes false claims about abortion safety under our medical misinformation policies,” YouTube wrote on Twitter Thursday.
“Like all of our policies on health/medical topics, we rely on published guidance from health authorities,” the post continued. “We prioritize connecting people to content from authoritative sources on health topics, and we continuously review our policies & products as real world events unfold.”
Gov. Hochul praised YouTube’s promise to engage in online censorship, calling it an “important first step” in what she described as cracking down on misinformation.
I've called on social media companies to crack down on misinformation since my first month in office — this is an important first step.
Everyone deserves access to truthful medical information. And here's the truth: Abortion will always be safe, legal, & accessible in New York. https://t.co/rtM85Y5Wyh
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) July 21, 2022
YouTube additionally announced that it will be starting an “information panel” to provide “viewers with context and information from local and global health authorities.” The panel will reportedly appear under any abortion-related video as well as during relevant searches.
The video platform offered a demonstration of what such a display might look like in their Twitter post. A description of abortion as defined by the National Library of Medicine was included in the shared screenshot.
3/ We’re also launching an information panel that provides viewers with context and information from local and global health authorities under abortion-related videos and above relevant search results. pic.twitter.com/dGzEn4bIb8
— YouTubeInsider (@YouTubeInsider) July 21, 2022
This does not mark the first time the big tech giant has moved to censor and exert authority on political issues. YouTube has targeted many types of content online, including that of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who announced that he will no longer post videos on the platform due to their blatant political censorship. Paul will instead be streaming on Rumble, a platform known for is publicly stated dedication to free speech.
The former Texas congressman’s son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, has notably done the same.