It’s Saturday, October 2nd, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:
1) YouTube Bans Vaccine ‘Misinformation’
The Topline: A new tech battle is raging after YouTube announced they were “expanding” their “medical misinformation” policies to include new guidelines on vaccines, meaning videos with what the platform deems vaccine misinformation would be removed.
The guidelines expand previous policies which covered what YouTube deemed to be COVID-19 vaccine misinformation to cover all vaccines approved by local health authorities and the World Health Organization.
YouTube said they will continue to allow content about vaccine policies, new vaccine trials, and historical vaccine successes or failures. Personal testimonials relating to vaccines will also be allowed, but only if the video doesn’t violate other Community Guidelines, or demonstrate a pattern of promoting vaccine hesitancy.
YouTube is among the last major platforms to take this kind of action.
In February, Facebook announced they planned to remove or demote posts which spread so-called “vaccine misinformation” or included content which discouraged vaccinations more generally in certain cases.
In March, Twitter followed, with users facing punishment of various forms for posting what they view as “harmful misinformation.”
The reaction to the move has been mixed. While there are many critics of YouTube’s policies in the U.S., the impact of YouTube’s decision is also felt abroad.
Russia is now threatening to ban YouTube unless the state-backed broadcaster RT’s German-language channels are reinstated. They were deleted for violating COVID-19 misinformation guidelines.
2) Hollywood Labor Strike Vote
The Topline: It’s been 14 years since Hollywood last experienced a labor walkout, but negotiations are now faltering between production companies and a union representing crew members.
The 2008 Writer’s Strike involved 12,000 guild members and shut down a number of productions for over 14 weeks.
This time, 60,000 crew members are involved, which would be the biggest entertainment industry walkout since World War II.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) represents workers behind the scenes like camera operators, costume designers, and prop makers.
They’ve been in negotiations with the association of production companies which represents the large studios, as well as big broadcast networks and streamers.
What They’re Asking
The union wants higher pay, more time off, and shorter working days, but a lot of the disagreement is a byproduct of the streaming revolution.
The last time the IATSE negotiated the terms of streaming contracts was in 2009 when streaming was just beginning to catch on.
The previous agreement allowed smaller platforms, such as Apple TV and Paramount Plus, to pay lower rates. It also permitted all the streamers to contribute less to crew pensions and health plans, which the union wants to change as well.
Since the deadline passed with no agreement, the IATSE is holding a strike vote this weekend.
Potential Impact: After the 2008 writers’ strike, dozens of shows experienced delays and some had fewer episodes or were canceled. It also permanently altered the entertainment landscape as reality shows experienced a boom while networks scrambled to find content. Viewers could experience something similar this time around.
3) Texas School District Pushes Political Agenda
The Topline: To the outrage of many parents, a public school training told teachers to help students hide information about their gender identity from their parents in order to make school a “safe” place for them.
A school district outside Austin, Texas, called Leander ISD, hosted an optional teacher training in October of last year during a staff development conference, with a presentation given by two social workers employed by the district.
The social workers told teachers in attendance they should discuss gender identity with their students and ask them what their preferred pronouns are. They also said teachers should ask students if they can use the preferred pronouns when they talk to their parents.
In the training materials, they cast parents as potential threats. One of the district social workers told teachers if a student has not told their parents about their gender identity, it may be because it is not “safe” for them to be out with their parents.
She warned some students may have “non-affirming” parents, or even parents who are shaming about a student’s identity. The training also instructed teachers to ask students if they want to have a private conversation about their pronouns.
The Daily Wire spoke to a mom who said she sees this as an attempt by the school district to deceive parents.
A group of angry parents went to a school board meeting on September 9th to speak out against the training.
One parent had discovered that the school had for some time been allowing their child to go by a new gender identity opposite of his biological gender. Other parents accused the school district of violating their trust and denying them the possibility of getting psychiatric care for their child.
Remember: This is the same school district where kids were reading books with explicit sex scenes and violent and disturbing content.
Weekend Sports Update
NBA Vaccine Rules
On Wednesday, the NBA announced that any player who misses a game due to a failure to comply with local vaccine mandates — specifically in San Francisco and New York — will not be paid for the game missed.
The mandates only apply to players who play in the cities with vaccine mandates, and do not apply to visiting players.
Saturday College Football
#8 Arkansas travels to #2 Georgia, #7 Cincinnati hopes for a marquee win when they travel to South Bend to take on #9 Notre Dame.
Lane Kiffin and his #12 Ole Miss Rebels return to Tuscaloosa in a matchup against Nick Saban and his #1 Alabama Crimson Tide.