The online backlash against conservative news outlets continues. The latest to fall victim to leftist tactics is none other than Legal Insurrection, the widely respected conservative site helmed by Cornell University Law Professor, William Jacobson.
Professor Jacobson, a Jewish conservative, writes from a pro-Israel perspective, and the timing of the removal is suspect, considering the site had just posted audio of a recent vote by the Modern Languages Association (MLA) on a resolution to boycott Israeli universities.
As reported by Fox News:
“Clearly this was a politically motivated move,” he told FoxNews.com. “I never received any request or complaint from MLA. These were perfectly legitimate fair use excerpts with great news value.”
“This is an attempt to silence our reporting on a matter of great public importance,” added Jacobson, whose website reported on the vote.”
In the Fox piece, Professor Jacobson is quoted as saying Legal Insurrection wasn’t furnished any advance notice for the move by YouTube:
“In an email, Jacobson said that he never received notice of the claims prior to the channel’s removal on Thursday. On Friday the publisher received notification from YouTube that the copyright claims were filed by the Modern Languages Association (MLA) based on audio posted of a recent MLA vote on a resolution to boycott Israeli universities. The boycott resolution at the MLA Delegate Assembly failed.”
This is the latest in a spate of efforts to silence conservative voices.
Last year, social media juggernaut, Facebook, found itself under the microscope for their handling of trending news. While hosting a media summit with a handful of conservative sites and leaders in the movement, Facebook continued to deny any algorithm bias, a claim disputed by both The Guardian and the Washington Times.
The Guardian went on to say:
“But early on Thursday, the Guardian obtained Facebook’s internal guidelines for the trending topics section that contradicted Stocky’s statement. The documents include instructions for how curators can “inject” or “blacklist” topics in the trending topics.
“The editorial team CAN [sic] inject a newsworthy topic in the event that something is attracting a lot of attention, such as #BlackLivesMatter,” the guidelines state.
Facebook’s vice-president for global operations, Justin Osofsky, subsequently wrote his own blogpost about the editorial guidelines – which were released – and specified that many topics are rejected because they “reflect what is considered ‘noise.’”
With the title, Facebook’s algorithm only as unbiased as its creators, the Washington Times tackles the issue head-on, stating:
“’I think there’s probably no such thing as a neutral algorithm, just like there’s probably never really such a thing as a truly neutral journalist,’ said Philip Napoli, journalism and media studies professor at Rutgers University.”
With Donald Trump poised to become our nation’s 45th president in mere days, and his constant refrain, “the media is rigged,” change may be a-comin’. After a contentious presser earlier this week, it is clear Mr. Trump will brook no media “business as usual” on his watch.
As conservatives, nor will we.
UPDATE: Within 24 hours, the channel was restored, no doubt, in part, because of the outcry of the conservative community.
[Note: This post was authored by Marie Stroughter. Follow her on Twitter @MarieStroughter]