YouTube is deleting comments that contain two terms Chinese dissidents use to criticize the government, raising concerns about the tech industry’s willingness to censor content to gain favor with the communist regime.
Comments on YouTube videos containing the terms 共匪 (Gòngfěi), meaning “communist bandit,” and 五毛党 (wǔmáodǎng), meaning “fifty-cent party,” are automatically deleted from the site shortly after they are posted. The latter is a derogatory term referring to Chinese internet censors who are allegedly paid 50 cents for every internet post that they erase.
A YouTube spokeswoman acknowledged to the Washington Free Beacon that the website’s algorithm has been deleting any comments containing either of the two terms within seconds of their submission. She blamed “an error in our enforcement mechanism” for the deletions, rather than an effort to stymie criticism of the authoritarian government. The deletions have raised eyebrows among Republican lawmakers, one of whom is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate.
Robert Spalding, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and retired Air Force general, said that YouTube’s decision to remove the two terms from the comment section is symptomatic of a larger problem: the Chinese government’s ability to wield influence in American corporations to squelch dissent. – READ MORE
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