Monday, January 25, 2021

YouTube removes "evidentiary" videos of January 6 made by a prominent independent journalist; how ordinary citizens can accidentally stumble into dangerous plots online


Nevada, 2012

Ford Fischer, who owns News2Share, is maintaining Monday (today, January 25) that YouTube removed a video of his made January 6 when he panned the crowd, showing the crowd’s emotional reaction just before it stormed the Capitol.  Here is his complete thread

It appears that he has already licensed some of his footage to CNN and PBS which are showing their own documentary films about the incident.  PBS’s Frontline may be yet to air.

It also appears likely that some of his footage is included in evidentiary materials to be sent over to the Senate tonight at 6:55 PM for the impeachment trial. 

Here is an account on his own News2Share site.  Note that he particular video grays out and gives a warning about TOS removal. 

There are various detailed accounts in news media of this “march”, such as Reuters , and New York Magazine Intelligencer.

Here is a really interesting one in Ohio Capital Journal of the mental planning in advance. I've had brush with this kind of thing in people contacting me, as I explain later in this post. 

A site called "Justsecurity" has a video from Parler (apparently) that connects Trump's speech to the crowd's behavior, link. "We're going to walk down to the Capitol, and I'll be there with you!".  The Vimeo link from Justin Hendrik is here.   The video includes material from Parler.  There is the call "Fight for Trump!" which sounds like the chant of a cult, waiting for its Koolaid. 

There were other prominent speakers advocating “violence”, such as Rudy Giuliani’s “trial by combat”.  Some rioters claimed they were part of a “1776” movement.

YouTube seems to be taking the position that anyone not part of corporate media who films a speech advocating Trump’s claims of the “steal” is now violating the terms of service, and that YT will not give “citizen journalists” the validity of reporting the speech for the sake of the journalism alone.  YT does not trust average social media users to understand what “subjunctive mood” (as in French verb conjugations) means.   However, Ford does this for a living, and regularly sells footage to corporate outlets.  Ironically, it seems not all right for him to post it himself. 

I also have some earlier footage from “STS” rallies on YouTube (from November 2020) that are still up. Some of my footage does not seem to be duplicated by anyone else (which often happens, even though my own video activity is "small").   

YouTube did not give Fischer a community guidelines “strike” on this one, but rather a kind of warning. (YT had said that it would, starting with January 6, originally to start with the inauguration.)

I will add that I found two Facebook posts that I had photographed for private records from a “Friend” on Dec. 20 (six days after the Electoral College vote) speaking about claims to come as a group of people in a van from Nevada, that it “is time to make our move” and “I don’t care how uncomfortable it is, this I what needs to happen”.  Later, she asked if I knew where people could stay.  I said, try a hotel.  The Hotel Harrington closed for the three days.  But the group apparently may have stayed in a Comfort inn in Arlington very close to where I used to live.  They don’t seem to care about giving people COVID_19.

Then I joked on Twitter on January 5 that “game time was 1 PM” next day  That is, I thought, the legal “game” as to whether Pence could (lawfully in any conceivable sense) ever deviate from what had been understood as his constitutional duty, and as to whether Ted Cruz could get the count delayed (for his panel investigation).  No, it didn’t mean storming the Capitol.  (I stayed home and watched everything, as COVID is everywhere, and I am 77!)  But you can see how making a joke on Twitter about a certification session now might be seen as a wrongful joke by the TSA at an airport.  Nothing has come of this, but I wonder if the FBI should see the Facebook posts (I was concerned enough to photo them but I did not report them, as I don’t think I have ever reported anything to social media “censors” – but I could have to answer why I behaved in this particular way in reaction to what I saw).  I guess this woman’s posts don’t make any "direct" threats, so probably not. 

 On both the far Right and far Left, I see people going very close to the line, and then sometimes over, in resorting to force to correct what they have become convinced is existential injustice. I remember spying on the "Peoples Party on New Jersey" in 1972 and running into the same kind of hyperbole in person. 

This sort of thing has happened before.  On July 19, 2012, I made a joke on Twitter that I never go to Thursday night midnight showings of comics movies (true – I don’t like to stay up that late.).  Maybe that did not turn out well.

Update: Jan 31:  The BBC has used some of Ford's footage, and viewers in the US are blocked from watching it, where in the UK they can see it (tweet).This is a coverup that dwarfs (in the other direction) Nick Sandmann's incident in January 2019. 

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