Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Libertarian blogger has scuffle with Youtube over community standards; Sandmann sues Washington Post; Clarence Thomas echoes Trump on libel laws

There are a couple more interesting news developments with individual personalities. 

Libertarian video blogger Matt Christiansen from Bozeman, Montana, known for carefully crafted and intellectually argued criticisms of Leftist behaviors (rather like Tim Pool and “Economic Invincibility” at times), found that YouTube had penalized him with a Community Guidelines strike, apparently when he “unlisted” an obscure video presenting some of the violence at an early 2017 kidnapping incident in Chicago where a white person with special needs was targeted.  The incident had apparently been livestreamed on Facebook before being removed.  It is true that many video bloggers make commentaries where they include third party excerpts from violent events filmed by others. 

It is also true that a video marked unlisted (which means it is found only when hyperlinked) or private can be subject to YouTube’s rules.  And Lior Leser (YouTuberLaw) has sometimes advised creators not to appeal strikes because they may lose the ability to appeal future strikes.  This problem may be compounded by recent incidents with fake or unjustified copyright strikes from questionable complaints.

However Christiansen reports this morning that the strike was removed and he can livestream again. 

In the meantime, Nicholas Sandmann (and family) have sued the Washington Post (Jeff Bezos). 

The lawsuit complaint text is worth reading as it details Sandmann’s steady behavior during the encounter with Phillips, and says his own political views are not formed (because he is a minor). 

Sandmann is 16.  But David Hogg was still 17 when he delivered his “no more” speech on March 24 in Washington (really, which side of the political spectrum is expressed doesn’t matter to me).  

Mature and gifted minors can be very capable of implementing very complex ideas.  Taylor Wilson and Jack Andraka both came up with their scientific inventions at age 14.  Sandmann appears to be very mature and have similar intellectual capabilities. 

But I would agree that the public and the press should not expect a minor to defer to the “political correctness” of others when meeting someone in a public place who purports to be from a disadvantaged minority.  Sandmann simply treated it as an individual encounter and kept the incident calm. 

In many of   these cases it seems that the far Left is simply appealing to nothing more than “us v them” and looks for whatever straws it can find to identify enemies. The far Left seems to brag about collective victimhood and that gets in the way of any healing and resolution of our growing inequalities.  The Parkland “kids” (Hogg, etc) have thankfully been much better than that (they seem to accept capitalism and free markets) and are really getting somewhere with gun control reforms. 

Clarence Thomas has attractive controversy by criticizing the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan ruling, meaning that public figures have a much higher standard (recklessness or malice) of proof against defendants in libel suits.  But who gets to be a public figure?  The notability for a Wikipedia page?  Or just a video channel or influential blog? 

No comments: