YouTube Censors Sen. Rand Paul for Speaking Against Mandates – JONATHAN TURLEY

https://jonathanturley.org/2021/08/11/youtube-censors-sen-rand-paul-for-speaking-against-mandates/

YouTube has continued to enforce and expand its censorship of opposing views on its site — enforcing what it considers to be the truth on various issues. The latest subject is Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who has been suspended from the site for expressing his opposition to Covid mandates. One does not have to agree with Paul on his view of Covid or mandates to see the danger of such corporate control over public discourse in the United States. However, politicians (including President Joe Biden) are calling for even greater censorship to silence those with opposing views on such subjects.

Rand posted a video on Sunday in which he lashed out at the calls for mandates and the “petty tyrants and bureaucrats” supporting them, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden. He called for people to stand up against these efforts:

“It’s time for us to resist. They can’t arrest all of us. They can’t keep all of your kids home from school. … We don’t have to accept the mandates, lockdowns and harmful policies of the petty tyrants and bureaucrats. We can simply say no. Not again.

Nancy Pelosi, you will not arrest, or stop me or anyone on my staff from doing our jobs. We have either had Covid, had the vaccine, or been offered the vaccine. We will make our own health choices. We will not show you a passport. We will not wear a mask. We will not be forced into random screenings so you can continue your drunk with power reign over the Capitol.

“President Biden, we will not accept your agencies’ mandates or your reported moves towards a lockdown.”

YouTube took down the video leading Paul to post a response to the censorship. That response was also reportedly taken down but can be viewed on Rumble.

Sen. Paul has been criticized for this and other statements on Covid but many agree with him. This is part of our political debate. People have a free speech right to oppose the mandates and question the science cited by the government. In this case, a corporation is preventing a major political figure from being able to use its platform to engage others on this subject. It is picking and choosing who can speak and what they can say. It has a right to do so as a private company but it is wrong to do so. It is a denial of free speech and we need to address the corporate control over political speech in the United States.

I have previously and repeatedly said that I believe people should be vaccinated. I and my family are vaccinated. However, I will not accept arguments that my public health concerns should negate the free speech rights of others, including Sen. Paul. I also do not accept that these corporations should hold such a strangle hold over public debate.

The rise of corporate censors has combined with a heavily pro-Biden media to create the fear of a de facto state media that controls information due to a shared ideology rather than state coercion. That concern has been magnified by demands from Democratic leaders for increased censorship, including censoring political speech, and now word that the Biden Administration has routinely been flagging material to be censored by Facebook.

This is why I have described myself as an Internet Originalist:

The alternative is “internet originalism” — no censorship. If social media companies returned to their original roles, there would be no slippery slope of political bias or opportunism; they would assume the same status as telephone companies. We do not need companies to protect us from harmful or “misleading” thoughts. The solution to bad speech is more speech, not approved speech.

If Pelosi demanded that Verizon or Sprint interrupt calls to stop people saying false or misleading things, the public would be outraged. Twitter serves the same communicative function between consenting parties; it simply allows thousands of people to participate in such digital exchanges. Those people do not sign up to exchange thoughts only to have Dorsey or some other internet overlord monitor their conversations and “protect” them from errant or harmful thoughts.