I wasn’t surprised that YouTube censored my recent video as “Hate Speech.” It’s happened before.
Talking about antisemitism, violence, and even the Holocaust is part of my work as a historian, and the algorithms are obviously set to look for key words and images related to these noxious topic. So my lectures have been flagged before. This time, however, was a little different: I lost my appeal to have the video reinstated, which seems rather silly: I’m a tenured full Professor speaking about antisemitism, not speaking antisemitically, and I’m surprised that they didn’t catch the difference. But that’s okay.
On the whole I appreciate the efforts of the YouTube Creator Team, as they have made it much easier to remove the intellectual vandalism that frequently sullies the comment boxes, not to mention the mental pollution that some people spew onto the web. I’ve noticed that the filters have gotten stricter in recent months, and in general I have been very pleased with these changes.
If YouTube flags my videos by accident, I’m fine with that (at least for now). The nasty stuff is just so awful that I would rather they err on the side of caution. I can always post my lectures here, on my personal website.
I hope you find this lecture on the history of antisemitism worthwhile.