YouTube Reportedly Shuts Down Farrakhan And The Nation Of Islam

As many on this blog know, I have been a long and vocal critic of Louis Farrakhan, who regularly espouses racist and antisemitic views.  Coming from Chicago, I have criticized Farrakhan for years, including recent posts.  Nevertheless, the move by YouTube to remove the video channel of the Nation of Islam is in my view another example of private censorship of speech on the Internet.  Many of us have denounced Farrakhan, but censorship begins with the most unpopular and obnoxious among us.  This action places the Internet on the slippery slope where more and more speech is likely to be banned as offensive or hateful.

According to the Jewish Journal, the channel was taken down on October 2 with the statement that “We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies.”

There is certainly no question that Farrakhan spews hateful and racist viewpoints. However, we have seen in Europe how such regulation of speech leads to a frenzy of new demands from individuals and groups citing their own objections to opposing speakers. This has led to conflicting and troubling bans that raise bias on the part of these companies.

As discussed earlier, there is now a strong movement on the left to regulate and censor the Internet. Indeed, this taste for regulating speech has now become evident in the United States. I recently criticized the calls of Democratic leaders like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff for greater censorship of the Internet and social media.

The Atlantic published an article by Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith and University of Arizona law professor Andrew Keane Woods calling for Chinese style censorship of the Internet.  They declared that “in the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong” and “significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with society norms and values.”

The reason we need to oppose YouTube’s actions is not to support Farrakhan but free speech. The Internet is the single greatest vehicle for free speech in the history of humanity. Not surprising, politicians and governments want to regulate it and curtail it.  This effort always begins with the least popular figures, but it never ends there. The presence of Farrakhan on YouTube is not nearly as dangerous as the loss of free speech in removing him from YouTube.

74 thoughts on “YouTube Reportedly Shuts Down Farrakhan And The Nation Of Islam”

  1. Trust me – they only did it because they had to. This is why the sane among us need to continue applying the pressure. A free country will never stay free if we just sit on our hands.

  2. JT is a hypocritical fraud. He pretends to defend Farrakhan’s speech under a free speech pretext, but the fact is that he has no problem with Farrakhan’s anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, anti-America messages promoting violence and division. And, of course, JT also likes Farrakhan because Farrakhan himself is a hypocritical fraud, who follows Islam, knowing full well that its leader, Muhammad, owned black slaves and considered blacks to be inherently evil. But Farrakhan, like JT, is willing to forget all that because Muhammad hated Jews. Meanwhile, here’s a relevant issue of free speech that phony JT will never discuss.

    1. Jonathan Turley, today, in this posting:

      “I have been a long and vocal critic of Louis Farrakhan, who regularly espouses racist and antisemitic views. Coming from Chicago, I have criticized Farrakhan for years, including recent posts. “

      1. Claiming to “regularly espouse” something means nothing. If that were true, where are the “here,” “here,” and “here” links to previous articles and statements made, as JT normally does? Maybe he didn’t because he has nothing to back up the claim you refer to. In short, JT’s purported “rationale” for supporting Farrakhan’s hate speech doesn’t carry water.

  3. Jonathan Turley, seems to me that the privately owned YouTube can set whatever restrictions it wants. Those so left out can start a MeTube site.

  4. If you want to know what’s in the bill then you have to pass the bill. I’ll tell you if I’m going to pack the court after I am elected. Sounds familiar.

  5. Now you know why the American Founders didn’t allow women and the “poor” to vote.

    You wouldn’t stand for something and you’ve fallen for anything.

    The inmates have taken over the asylum.

    The end is nigh.

    We’d all better learn and take the “Sworn Oath To Marx” real quick.

    1. NEW YORK—Sitting down with his most heavily armed advisors to go over potential courses of action, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reportedly held a strategy meeting with his campaign’s top militia leaders Thursday afternoon in order to map out their approach before November 8. “We’re seeing tight races in Ohio and Nevada, so that’s where we need to concentrate our resources right now,” said Ron Bishop, Trump’s national militia coordinator, who ran the candidate through the various on-the-ground preparations that were being taken by the militia heads at local field offices throughout the nation, before leading the group in a brainstorming session on scenarios they might face on Election Day. “We really need to start ramping up operations in every state during these final weeks before people head to the polls. While we’ve already built dependable networks in our key strongholds in the Deep South and the West, we must prepare for the prospect of having to take action in places like Missouri and Arizona, too. We want to be as agile as possible so that we can execute a comprehensive and decisive strategy when the time comes.” At press time, Bishop was laying out a detailed plan for how Trump could take the White House.

  6. What’s wrong with this picture?

    Where did America go wrong, you ask yourselves?

    Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795, 1798 and 1802

    United States Congress, “An act to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” March 26, 1790

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That any Alien being a free white person, who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for the term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof

  7. This just in:

    Christopher Wray protects democrat Whitmer after allowing a 4-year coup d’etat against the duly-elected sitting republican President.

    Not to worry:

    John “Dudley Do-Right” Durham is feverishly digging a huge pit in which to bury for eternity all of the evidence of the Obama Coup D’etat in America.

    With William “Mr. Deep Deep State” Barr, Christopher “I Know Nothing” Wray and John “Dudley Do-Right” Durham fully in control, the cover-up is in good hands.

    What cover-up?

    I don’t see any cover-up!

    Do you?

  8. This sounds like a logical argument but it is flawed for the simple reason that YouTube is NOT the internet. It is but one of many platforms that exist on the internet that provide information. We do ourselves a great disservice by assuming that everything we might conceivably want to see or hear should be on one platform. Just because something is not on YouTube doesn’t mean that it isn’t available on some other platform, as many people and groups across the political, religious and social spectrum on both the far left and far right have easily discovered as viable and welcoming alternatives to being on YouTube. Before we start trying to claim that somebody getting kicked off YouTube is indicative of some sinister form of growing internet censorship perhaps we would be better placed to learn how to properly use the internet to find sources of information and platforms and focus more on assuring that neither our government or any other government is allowed to in any way block or restrict our access to the internet.

    1. Dogknees, you do not deserve to use the name of the famed Greek,

      it is not flawed because of the overweening market power in the video upload niche so dominated by youtube.

      You will be unhappy to know that there is a line of cases which also brings to bear a nexus between first amendment and private property, the line of cases seems defunct, but, it could be “resurrected.”

      also, sorry to inform the pathetic bootlicking corporate law hacks at youtube google alphabet, but CALIFORNIA LAW might just bring them to heel too

      we gonna find out soon I imagine, soon enough,,necessarily%20extend%20to%20private%20property.&text=The%20first%20attempt%20to%20provide,occurred%20in%20the%20mid%2D1940s.

      “…The first attempt to provide a constitutional basis for the protection of free expression on private property occurred in the mid-1940s. In Marsh v. Alabama (1946), the Supreme Court held that the owners and operators of a company town could not prohibit the distribution of religious literature in the town’s business district because such expression was protected by the First and 14th amendments. The majority reasoned that the town displayed many of the attributes of a municipality; therefore the state-action requirement was satisfied for constitutional purposes of sustaining the rights of free expression. As stated in Marsh, “the more an owner, for his advantage, opens up his property for use by the public in general, the more do his rights become circumscribed by the statutory and constitutional rights of those who use it.” In striking a balance, the Court concluded that the free-speech rights of the individual were paramount over the property rights asserted by the company.

      The Court subsequently extended the rationale of Marsh to peaceful picketing in a large shopping center known as Logan Valley Mall. In Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza (1968), the Court considered whether non-employee union members could be enjoined from picketing a grocery store in a privately owned shopping center. The Court noted that the answer would be clear “if the shopping-center premises were not privately owned but instead constituted the business area of a municipality.”

      “In the latter situation,” the Court said in a later opinion, Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner (1972), “it has often been held that publicly owned streets, sidewalks, and parks are so historically associated with the exercise of First Amendment rights that access to them for purposes of exercising such rights cannot be denied absolutely.”

      The Court determined that the shopping center involved in Logan Valley was the functional equivalent of the business district involved in Marsh. The Court was careful, however, to limit the scope of its holding by stating, “all we decide here is that because the shopping center serves as the community business block and is freely accessible and open to the people in the area and those passing through, the state may not delegate the power, through the use of its trespass laws, wholly to exclude those members of the public wishing to exercise their First Amendment rights on the premises in a manner and for a purpose generally consonant with the use to which the property was actually put.”

      Four years later the Court reconsidered the Logan Valley doctrine in Lloyd Corp. v. Tanner. In Lloyd the Court rejected the pleas of war protesters who sought to express their views at a local mall. The Court distinguished Logan Valley on narrow grounds, as limited to a labor dispute involving one of the center’s tenants and occurring under conditions where no realistic alternative for expression existed. Neither of these elements were present in Lloyd. The handbilling by the respondents in the malls of Lloyd Center had no relation to any purpose for which the center was built and being used. Rather, the message the respondents sought to convey was directed to all members of the public and could have been distributed in any number of public areas. Notably, the Court opined that “there is no open-ended invitation to the public to use the Center for any and all purposes, however incompatible with the interests of both the stores and the shoppers whom they serve.”

      Finally in Hudgens v. NLRB (1976), the Court explicitly rejected Logan Valley, stating, “if it was not clear before, … the rationale of Logan Valley did not survive the Court’s decision in the Lloyd case.” The Supreme Court’s finding in Hudgens incontestably favored private-property rights over individual free expression.

      Despite Hudgens‘ clear statement of federal law, the California Supreme Court held in Robins v. Pruneyard Shopping Center that the free-speech and petition provisions of the California Constitution grant mall visitors a constitutional right to free speech that outweighs the private-property interests of mall owners. The California Supreme Court took the position that “all private property is held subject to the power of government to regulate its use for the public welfare.” In the unanimous 1980 decision Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the state court’s decision, noting that its own reasoning in Lloyd “does not ex proprio vigore (“of its own force”) limit the authority of the State to exercise its police power” (power to regulate the use of private property) “or its sovereign right to adopt in its own Constitution individual liberties more expansive than those conferred by the Federal Constitution.” A state may, therefore, in the exercise of its power to regulate, adopt reasonable restrictions on private property, including granting greater freedom to individuals to use such property, so long as the restrictions do not amount to a taking without just compensation or contravene any other federal constitutional provision. (In this instance it would be a “taking” of a property owner’s right to exclude others.)”

  9. If Professor Turley is truly committed to free speech on the internet, regardless of the rights of private companies (and I believe he thinks he is), why does he ban certain commenters on this site? Particularly when there are no rules or guidelines posted for commenters to follow?

    Note – I posted this earlier, but now cannot find it. Hmmm . . .

      1. I have posted two or three times heretofore, but a friend (banned) frequently sends me links, and I read.

  10. If you want to know who rules you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.

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