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You Will Be Made To Watch

Erick Erickson has a great line about the culture war: “You will be made to care.” [1] He means that the left will never content itself to live and let live. Here’s an appalling but characteristic example of what he means: [2]

YouTube [3] said on Sunday that it was investigating the simmering complaints by some users that its family-friendly “restricted mode” wrongly filters out some lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender videos.

The statement came after the video-hosting platform faced growing pressure over the weekend from some of its biggest stars to address the issue.

In a statement, YouTube said that many videos featuring lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender content were unaffected by the filter, an optional parental-control setting, and that it only targeted those that discussed sensitive topics such as politics, health and sexuality.

But some of the video creators disagreed [4], pointing to blocked content that they argued were suitable for children of any age and did not discuss such subjects. They also said that the filtering shields lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children from the resources and support the videos can provide.

It is not the right of a transgender person or anyone else to decide what someone’s children can and cannot watch. That decision belongs to the parents. But see, this is par for the course for the left, especially the sexual left: disempower parents so they can propagandize children.

Christian and other conservative parents, if you let your kids watch YouTube without you at their side, you’re crazy. Seriously, you have no excuse.

UPDATE: A reader writes:

Saw your post. Made me think about pro-LGBT parents wanting to filter out religious messages that condemn homosexual conduct and extol the virtues of celibacy for same-sex attracted people who believe that I can change. Even though I think that makes them narrow-minded, I see no reason why YouTube should not accommodate them.  In fact, I would defend their right to do this, since I believe that parents have a special responsibility to their children that third parties have no right to breach (except for in very narrow circumstances).

LGBT activists for years made fun of “they’re coming for your children” rhetoric of the religious right. Turns out the religious right was correct; they are coming for your children, and they resent the fact that you’re trying to block the door.

79 Comments (Open | Close)

79 Comments To "You Will Be Made To Watch"

#1 Comment By Stefan On March 21, 2017 @ 2:47 am

[NFR: This is nuts! YouTube isn’t making the filtering call here; it’s leaving it up to the individual user. If they want to filter out religious content, or political content, or any other content, why should you have the right to tell them that they cannot? If you’re a PFLAG parent and don’t want your kid stumbling upon a Religious Right video, I think you should have the opportunity to keep that stuff out of your YouTube account. Why not? — RD]

YouTube isn’t telling any parent they cannot do that. It simply opts not to actively provide them with service-level tools to make it easy. (conservatives: that’s what “muh free market” gets you… it almost sounds like someone is hoping for the good doc socialeesm to step in and save conservative childhood)

#2 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On March 21, 2017 @ 7:51 am

Re: Syntax versus Semantics

As an aside, computers stink at content filtering. Besides the inherently subjective nature of the task, it requires an understanding of the semantic content, not a simple syntactic analysis.

A syntactic analysis looks for the presence of keywords (e.g. sex or naked) or images (e.g. breasts) that could be a problem. While a semantic analysis understands context, and “naked eye” in an astronomy forum means without the use of optics, or a video on breast cancer examination might include images of the topic of conversation.

You might think a sufficiently deep syntactic analysis would yield the semantics, but that’s not the case at the present time. Not for lack of effort on the part of AI researchers either.

The workaround is having content tags, but as stated above that never works because users are often unaware of the tags, and bad actors ignore them.

#3 Comment By Adamant On March 21, 2017 @ 8:00 am

‘It simply opts not to actively provide them with service-level tools to make it easy.’

Technology isn’t morally neutral. Technology deployed for profit by a large, wealthy, and powerful company desperate (as they invariably are) to prove their LGBT wokeness is supremely not morally neutral.

#4 Comment By peanut On March 21, 2017 @ 8:20 am

“[NFR: And again, I tell you that you cannot read my mind. If people want to filter out videos tagged with the key word “Christianity,” so what? I don’t have to like it to support YouTube giving them the ability to do so. — RD]

And again, you misunderstand what I said. It’s not what the parents say. The parents have no say in the setup of the family option. They have to follow Youtube’s choices. Which is the source of the controversy: Youtube decided that any mention of homosexuality is not fit for family consumption. Again: imagine reactions if it decided yotube videos, more important than any TV network, will now not let kid access any Christian content, not even videos of Chartres Cathedral on the “family” channel.

Now if Youtube allowed people to play with the filter, things would be different, and anyone complaining would indeed by a jackass.

#5 Comment By KevinS On March 21, 2017 @ 8:27 am

“It is not the right of a transgender person or anyone else to decide what someone’s children can and cannot watch. That decision belongs to the parents.”

And parents have no right to expect a private company to do their job. Let some conservative Christian software developer create a filter that parents can buy and install on their computers. If Hobby Lobby is under no legal obligation to provide health insurance coverage for procedures it opposes, YouTube is under no obligation to provide you and your co-believers with filters that coincide with your beliefs.

#6 Comment By Karen On March 21, 2017 @ 8:46 am

Though not directly related, this post made me think of an article about the new Catholic chaplain at my alma mater. ( [5]) Dominican priests are now in charge of campus ministry, and the new chaplain wears his white Dominican habit while eating with students in the dining halls and hanging out on campus. In the article, a student is quoted as saying, “Though I believe that Hopkins should of course fund religious programs (as long as they give no preference to one religion over the other), I do believe that religion should have a particular place — the Interfaith center (or Hillel, etc.). . . It makes me uncomfortable whenever I walk into Brody and there is a priest hanging out with students. People should be coming to him — he shouldn’t be seeking out students.” Though she is just one student (and so her comment shouldn’t be taken as indicative of general sentiment), I just try to imagine what the backlash would be if a JHU student had said the exact same words but substituted “LGBT issues” for “religion” and “transgender person” for “priest.” While it might be going too far to claim that religion is actively and broadly discriminated against in the public sphere, it’s not going too far to claim that discrimination/prejudice against religion is *tolerated* as within the acceptable bounds of discourse on a broad scale, to a degree that discrimination/prejudice against other ideologies is not. Some people want to have a “safe space” from priests and religion – we call them enlightened secular progressives; others want to have a “safe space” from LGBT issues – we call them bigots. Go figure.

#7 Comment By connecticut farmer On March 21, 2017 @ 9:44 am

Thanks for this Rod. If nothing else it serves to illustrate the lengths these groups will go to impose their will upon the rest of us. And there appears to be no end to this.

#8 Comment By MH – Secular Misanthropist On March 21, 2017 @ 10:14 am

Did a quick search and the free market is already at work:

* [6]

* [7]

Configure your router to use [8] and you are off to the races.

#9 Comment By Roland P. On March 21, 2017 @ 10:30 am

No one will be made to watch. PERIOD.

YouTube is just like the library except it is visual instead of printed.

No one says you have to check out and read a book you disagree with and no one says you have to watch a video you don’t agree with.

In my opinion as a very staunch First Amendment person EVERYTHING should be available both in the library and on TV and YouTube and the internet it doesn’t matter what it is.

No one is forced to read or look at anything or agree with it.

What I am seeing in this article is the typical conservative viewpoint of “my desires as to what my child is exposed to overrides that of anybody else’s choices and the culture should be set so that I DO NOT HAVE TO MONITOR WHAT THE KIDS DO ONLINE.”

If you’re too lazy to pay attention to what your kids are watching or reading maybe you shouldn’t have had them in the first place.

#10 Comment By Left Bank On March 21, 2017 @ 10:34 am

It’s like court-imposed homosexual ‘marriage’, or the slow motion train wreck of the Mainline churches. A sickness that advances by its practitioners and sympathizers infiltrating and taking control of institutions and imposing acceptance by force.

Can they successfully use corporate power, judicial power, and the police power of the state to force others to accept homosexuality?

The answer isn’t obvious. My guess is that, because of the numbers alone, this period will be seen by future generations as an extreme of decadence, narcissism, and evil. As we view late imperial Rome, fin-de-siecle France or Austria, Weimar Germany or Sodom and Gommorrah. Such extremes virtually guarantee reciprocal extremes, “cleansings by fire” that sweep them away.

#11 Comment By Ben H On March 21, 2017 @ 11:02 am

“And parents have no right to expect a private company to do their job.”

Oh yes they do. YouTube and their parent company Alphabet has entered into the stream of commerce and therefore has no right whatsoever to offend any of their customer or to refuse them service in the precise way they, the customer, demand.

I don’t know where you are from sir, from the tone of your comment likely Canada, but here in America we know better: that no company can discriminate against any of it’s ad-viewing customers for any reason whatsoever. This is explicitly stated in our most important document, the Constitution, and is enforced in every civilized one of our states by a combination of devoted civil servants and private individuals funded by concerned philanthropists from every country in the world (they do well by doing good, coincidentally).

Even so, you’ll find some people here who deny the great words in our Declaration of Independence: “The Customer is Always Right”. Fewer now that we burn down their houses when we are able to identify them (because they’re hate-filled).

#12 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 21, 2017 @ 11:57 am

So, for instance, a video of a girl talking about her same sex crush wouldn’t be treated differently from a girl talking about her opposite sex crush, assuming there’s no explicit content in either video.

Some parents may wish to make a distinction there. No reason they shouldn’t. Nobody is guaranteed the obligatory love and respect of anybody else. But, again, maybe YouTube should outsource the filters and let a hundred schools compete.

why is porn available free of charge? It is free, isn’t it? What kind of business model is that?

“Free” generally means “loaded with advertising.” That’s where the money is.

#13 Comment By a commenter On March 21, 2017 @ 12:08 pm

“It makes me uncomfortable whenever I walk into Brody and there is a priest hanging out with students. People should be coming to him — he shouldn’t be seeking out students.”

Wow, what a disturbing attitude toward other human beings, as if priests are in some class of lesser person who should not be able to move around like other people.

#14 Comment By Bowl of Petunias On March 21, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

“It makes me uncomfortable whenever I walk into Brody and there is a priest hanging out with students. People should be coming to him — he shouldn’t be seeking out students.”

Wow, what a disturbing attitude toward other human beings, as if priests are in some class of lesser person who should not be able to move around like other people.

Somebody should have asked her if she would feel the same way if it was a Muslim imam.

#15 Comment By yep On March 21, 2017 @ 1:44 pm

“Christian and other conservative parents, if you let your kids watch YouTube without you at their side, you’re crazy. Seriously, you have no excuse.”

This is a big fat “duh,” regardless of LGBT videos existing on YouTube and regardless of whether a parent is Christian or conservative. You can find all kinds of propaganda (and violence) on YouTube. No sane parent would let their child on there alone, and it’s certainly not YouTube’s job to create parental filters that accommodate every possible set of delicate political and religious sensibilities.

You’re complaining about ‘live and let live,’ yet you seem to think it’s YouTube’s job to create a safe space for Christian parents’ children? How is that living and letting live? “CREATE A FILTER THAT REFLECTS MY VERY OWN PERSONAL BELIEFS” (snowflakes, much?) doesn’t sound any better than “STOP CENSORING MY CONTENT.”

If I’m raising my kids to be vegetarian because I believe it’s immoral to kill animals, should YouTube create a filter just for me that blocks all videos involving the eating or preparation of meat?

And what’s with the hysterical headline? Who is “making” anyone watch anything, ever, at all in the US? I’d buy the explanation that you mean the headline as a joke, but it seems to match your usual dark, embattled rhetoric re: the “left” and the big scary LGBT lobby. Even when we’re talking about the optional viewing of YouTube videos.

#16 Comment By John On March 21, 2017 @ 2:23 pm

@yep:

Um, yep. My thoughts exactly. That’s exactly what they want. And our reach should be used, “nope.”

Roland P:

I definitely think the library analogy applies. The parents can do whatever censoring they want. The libraries should not.

Siarlys Jenkins,

Parents can censor whatever they want. They have every right to discriminate. YouTube should not b in that business. Of defining what is “family friendly.” It can I guess come up with a more sophisticated platform that would allow parents to click or check mark those keywords they want censored.

Or, in the alternative, the parent can find those platforms run by religious companies that will do it for them. Apparently a few were linked to by another commentator.

#17 Comment By MikeCA On March 21, 2017 @ 2:28 pm

Giuseppe Scalas,how do you avoid kids seeing and or knowing anything about LGBT people even at a young age? Most of us have gay family & friends and gay couples living nearby or see ads featuring gay families. It’s easy enough to explain that some people fall in love with the same gender while most people are attracted to the opposite. I don’t see why discussions of sex have to enter into the conversation at all unless the child is insistent. In which case it’s probably best that you as their parent give them the information in a way which comports with your values. Otherwise they will seek out the info on their own and there’s very little you can do to stop them. Getting no response or an evasive one from parents/adults was the quickest way to ensure I found answers at the library (pre internet days) or from other sources. Kids are amazingly resourceful.

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 21, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

It can I guess come up with a more sophisticated platform that would allow parents to click or check mark those keywords they want censored.

Or, in the alternative, the parent can find those platforms run by religious companies that will do it for them. Apparently a few were linked to by another commentator.

Precisely what I am advocating.

Giuseppe Scalas,how do you avoid kids seeing and or knowing anything about LGBT people even at a young age?

Believe it or not, a fair number of people don’t know such couples. The percentage in the overall population is miniscule, and those have self-segregated to a great extent into a few large urban areas, and a small portion of the real estate in those areas. But if the kids have met such, of course the best thing is to tell them, yeah, a few people fall in love with someone of the same sex. Nobody really knows why. They live their lives accordingly.

#19 Comment By JonF On March 21, 2017 @ 4:34 pm

Re: You cannot talk about LGBT people without talking about sex.

I’m going to beg to differ here, Giuseppe. It really depends on the age and maturity of the child.
Way back in Ye Olden days when I could not have been any older than the age of eight (because my mother would fall ill and be diagnosed with the cancer that killed her shortly before my 9th birthday) a daughter of the family next door to us was discharged from the Marines due to lesbianism– and she an her girlfriend moved home to her parents’ house. No one was particularly shocked about this (I am going by stuff my father said later) since the girl had grown up the butchest of tom-boys. But there was a gossip of course, and I asked my mother was it was all about. My mother’s simple explanation was “There are girls who like girls, and also boys who like boys.” This must have been sometime around the point when I had had my first introductory talk about The Facts Of Life (AKA, The Birds And The Bees) but I do not recall being at all curious about the physical details of what my mother had said (and doubtlessly she was quite glad). At that point “liking” was associated in my mind with childish rhymes and smoochy stuff in movies; I think I understood sex only as How Babies Are Created and didn’t connect it yet with “liking”.

#20 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On March 21, 2017 @ 5:53 pm

MikeCA

Giuseppe Scalas, how do you avoid kids seeing and or knowing anything about LGBT people even at a young age?

Well, first of all I live in Italy, not in California, so the density of LGBT people is much lower (if one excludes some areas of Milan right now, during the fashion week, where it reaches about 99% of the population 🙂 )

By the way, of course we have gay acquaintances, including a lesbian couple with two kids we meet sometimes during social events with children, but since they don’t wear make-up like Milo Yannopoulos and they don’t make out in public – as nobody does here in Milan – there’s no question asked. And, of course, we have our good deal of gay ads and gay graze in the media.
You also have to consider that in Italy IVF and adoption is not available (yet) to singles and to unmarried couples, that womb rental is (still) a penal offense, so there aren’t so many gay couples with kids.

But my children are very much shielded from media, not only because of sex but because of the general degradation of the media system (vulgarity, violence, foul language…). They are only allowed to watch a selected list of children shows and always under the supervision of a trusted adult, either at home or elsewhere.

Of course, we are aware that sooner or later the question will came, and – when it will – the explanation won’t be much different to what Siarlys and JonF have put forward as an example.

However, this should come as late as possible, when a healthy understanding of childbearing as a result of parental love has been, if not achieved, at least funded on solid ground.

#21 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On March 21, 2017 @ 6:06 pm

JonF

I’m going to beg to differ here, Giuseppe. It really depends on the age and maturity of the child.

When I say that you can’t talk about LGBT people without talking about sex, I’m not talking here about sexual pleasure and sexual intercourse: those things are going to be utter nonsense until puberty.

I’m talking about “sex” as an attraction disconnected to its purpose of family-making and childbearing.

The Big Talk, of course, shall come in due time. But it makes sense only as a step in a gradual path, where the first thing is the purpose and the fruit of conjugal love: children.

A too early discussion of homosexuality implies a forced breaking of this gradual path.

Then, of course, thank God, we don’t have everything under control…

#22 Comment By dan On March 21, 2017 @ 6:35 pm

I’m just done with the whole LGBT moment. I have no sympathy left at this point. We had a peaceful detante in my family that has been flung out the window at the expense of me, my wife, and my children since Obergefell. I’m tired of it. If they want to choose politics over family and civility, that’s on them.

#23 Comment By Mia On March 21, 2017 @ 8:03 pm

“LGBT activists for years made fun of “they’re coming for your children” rhetoric of the religious right. Turns out the religious right was correct; they are coming for your children, and they resent the fact that you’re trying to block the door.”

Take that thought a little further: who was it that warned this specifically? What ever happened to her? Go look it up on Wikipedia and find out.

#24 Comment By Jim G On March 21, 2017 @ 11:39 pm

Reading this feels as if there is some conspiracy by the left. Stop! Seriously. There isn’t. Just because you don’t agree with how something is done doesn’t mean the left is involved or someone is forcing people to think a certain way. In the vernacular of today’s youth, lame.

It’s getting old hearing from my friends on the left about conspiracies on the right and vice versa. Stupid left doing X. Stupid right doing Y! My ridiculous and rigid political ideology/leanings mandates I misinterpret everything those I consider the opposition do.
STOP!!!

#25 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 22, 2017 @ 2:28 am

Why is there free porn on the internet? Why is the first hit free? To lead you into what you start paying for.

#26 Comment By EngineerScotty On March 22, 2017 @ 3:13 am

[NFR: It will never happen, and when it does, we will hold a gun to your heads to make sure you bigots let your children watch it. — RD]

Uh, no we won’t. You’re free to select programming for your kids as you like; just as there are plenty of things I won’t let mine watch.

That said, some greater flexibility in Youtube’s filtering might be nice. But you do know what the best answer is. If you’re concerned about your children being exposed to things you consider illicit–and the Internet is obviously full of such material–then watch with them, and take away the electronics.

But accusing the LGBT community of Orwellian tyranny when a major media outlet’s one-size-fits-all filtering algorithm is discriminatory towards them, is a bit silly.

#27 Comment By chipshot On March 22, 2017 @ 11:45 am

This is where I confess that I have two well balanced (19 and 16) teenagers, that my wife and I have never bothered to filter out anything that either one of them ever saw on the internet. When a question would arise, we answered as openly and honestly as possible. There is a complex world out there. Let them see it.

Just like in the old days when kids were allowed to go outside at a young age, because that is how they learned to handle themselves, so with the internet. You allow the exploration, then answer all questions openly afterwards. They know when you are trying to hide something. Its amazing how smart they can be toward things afterwards if you have trusted in them that they can find their way.

We cheat our children of building out their own common sense otherwise.

#28 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On March 22, 2017 @ 2:49 pm

Engineer Scotty, you are a reasonable man, but you are not the LGBTQWERTY community. In fact, those who lead the charge are not particularly representative of most lesbians, gays, or bisexuals, and the trans thing is a whole separate issue, welded with the others only by sheer political opportunism of an avaricious clique.

Now even the most faux militant of the LGBTQWERTY clique are not “coming for your children” in the sense that they expect to turn all the children into gays. There are however, some more subtle things at work. First, they do want children exposed to “we exist, we’re here, all that we do is normal and good, deal with it,” and naturally some parents object who raise their children in traditions that at least some of the acts that make gays DIFFERENT from everyone else are NOT good or normal. Second, in pressing for “gay youth” to be free to “be themselves” at an early age, they probably are creating some confusion in children who would be perfectly happy heteronormative males and females if not insistently urged to rethink whether they REALLY are?

If they want to choose politics over family and civility, that’s on them.

Indeed it is.

When I say that you can’t talk about LGBT people without talking about sex, I’m not talking here about sexual pleasure and sexual intercourse: those things are going to be utter nonsense until puberty.

True, but where I also think Giuseppe has a point is, THE distinguishing feature of being “gay” is their sexual attraction and ways, ultimately, of acting on it. Otherwise, they are indeed just like the rest of us. So, if you emphasize that some people are gay, you either make no sense, or, you are inevitably talking about sexual proclivities and practices.

#29 Comment By asdgdafg On March 28, 2017 @ 8:37 pm

Bring the fire.