Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) penned a letter to Google this week asking for an explanation as to why the company censored YouTube comments that were critical of the Chinese Communist Party, rejecting a previous claim from Google that it was a ‘technical error’ they are trying to fix.
The case stems from a human-rights activist discovering that YouTube is seemingly censoring at least two Chinese-language phrases that the Communist government finds offensive.
The phrases are “communist bandit” and “50-cent party”.
#YouTube "automatically" deletes a comment in Chinese, "Gongfei", which means "communist bandit", in 15 seconds.
This person tested 3 times, same result. #油管 15秒內自動刪除「共匪」留言，網友連試三次皆如此。
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) May 13, 2020
When it looked into the matter, The Verge found that YouTube has placed the phrases on a filter that automatically deletes them, no matter what context they are used in. The report noted that it is a strange practice by Google because YouTube is completely blocked in China anyway.
Senator Hawley said in his letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, that the behaviour is part of a “long disturbing pattern” of pandering to the Communist party.
“This kowtowing is unacceptable,” Hawley wrote, adding that “Selling out American principles to curry favor with communist officials is no way to run an American business — regardless of who else is doing it.”
"Selling out American principles to curry favor with communist officials is no way to run an American business."
— j.d. durkin (@jiveDurkey) May 27, 2020
Prior to Hawley’s letter, Indiana Rep. Jim Banks also wrote to Google this week demanding an explanation as to why the company is censoring criticism of the Chinese government, even on videos uploaded by Americans and hosted in the US.
Is Project Dragonfly going global? Google must stop imitating #CCP censorship practices now.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) May 26, 2020
Google is actively censoring Americans in America in order to cosy up to the Communist Chinese government.
Is it time to regulate big tech yet?
Our 4th of July Super Sale has been extended! Get double Patriot Points and free shipping on the hottest items!