Now that it has been revealed that YouTube is using the radically left-wing group, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), to influence its decisions as to what is too offensive to be placed on YouTube, conservatives are justifiably furious, and are going public with their condemnation of YouTube’s partisan slant.
The revelation that the SPLC was one of the groups monitoring YouTube content came from The Daily Caller as it noted that the SPLC is one of over 100 groups YouTube relies on for content-filtering process.
Brent Bozell, the head of the Media Research Center, stated, “It speaks more to YouTube than it does to the SPLC. It’s not surprising at all that the SPLC is doing this sort of thing. YouTube has a legal right to do whatever it wants in this space, but it has no ethical right to project itself as some kind of objective purveyor of information when it not only aligns itself with radical groups, but won’t be transparent on how it’s doing business.”
The SPLC has called groups such as the Family Research Council and the Center for Immigration Studies “hate groups,” while listing Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson in their 2014 “Extremist Files.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, slammed the inclusion of the SPLC, saying, “They have to do one or the other — they are players on the field of public policy and acting as the umpire. The SPLC is an advocacy organization for policy. Yet at the same time, they want to flag people on the other side of the debate.” He warned YouTube:
They are going to find this is a double-edged sword. They want to appease the liberals they’ve stacked onto their boards, then they will find the lawmakers that created the favorable regulatory and tax environments for them will start changing for them as well. You’re going to find lawmakers who have been reluctant because of their conservative moorings to weigh in on this. If you see these companies continue to take steps like YouTube teaming up with the SPLC to flag content, you are going to see regulatory action taken or pushed by Congress.
SPLC President Richard Cohen protested to a House Homeland Security Committee hearing in November that SPLC’s refusal to name Antifa protesters as a hate group was because Antifa didn’t meet the specific hate group definition of targeting specific classes of people.
Cohen refused to call Black Lives Matter a hate group in 2016, despite the fact that its members had explicitly called for dead cops. Cohen said, "There’s no doubt that some protesters who claim the mantle of Black Lives Matter have said offensive things, like the chant 'pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon' that was heard at one rally. But before we condemn the entire movement for the words of a few, we should ask ourselves whether we would also condemn the entire Republican Party for the racist words of its presumptive nominee — or for the racist rhetoric of many other politicians in the party over the course of years."
Last year, PragerU sued YouTube for censoring its videos. Human Events wrote as far back as 2011 in a piece titled, “Isn’t the Southern Poverty Law Center the Real Hate Group?”:
All of which begs the question: Is the SPLC, by its own criteria, the real hate group? It still carries weight in plenty of circles here in America, and so when it categorizes an organization as a hate group, many people of good conscience are influenced by that designation, one which is quite stigmatizing and destructive, as evidenced by the recent events involving FOTF and AFA mentioned above. Yet it is the leaders of the SPLC who are either irresponsibly attacking other fine organizations, or worse still, knowingly defaming them.Who then deserves the title of “hate group,” Focus on the Family or the Southern Poverty Law Center? Who has been guilty of demonizing others and spreading hurtful, inaccurate information? Whose actions and words have been hateful? The record speaks for itself.