Saturday, August 17, 2019

Carl Benjamin: We Need a Digital Bill of Rights

Carl Benjamin, the UKIP politician and YouTube star, sat down with Breitbart News last week to discuss a range of topics, including big tech censorship, which he argues is deliberately targeted at Trump supporters.

“I think that we’re coming up to the 2020 elections, and I do suspect there’s a great deal of political bias involved here” said the YouTuber and politician, who also goes by the online pseudonym “Sargon of Akkad.”

Benjamin, who almost exclusively used YouTube to build an independent following and livelihood, was recently demonetized by the Google-owned platform — all ad revenue on his videos was stripped away, leaving him without his primary source of income.

YouTube’s demonetization was “the consequence of media pressure” said Benjamin, who is running as a UKIP candidate for the European Parliamentary elections in Britain. “YouTube have caved in to [a] kind of media narrative.”

Benjamin also commented on the new tendency of Silicon Valley companies to use an individual’s off-platform behavior as a signal to determine whether they should or shouldn’t be banned.

“No matter where you are, or what context you are [in], or what you’re doing, they are now the moral arbiters of your behavior. If they’re not happy, if there’s enough media kickback about something that’s happened they won’t stand their ground and say ‘according to the terms of service, he’s done nothing wrong,’ they’ll bow to this kind of pressure.”

The UKIP politician called for the creation of a “Digital Bill of Rights” and the “right to a digital trial” in the U.S., where the tech giants are based.

“The decision making power about who gets their account banned” should be “delegated to a jury” said Benjamin, who also said that social media platforms should have to go through a legal process before being allowed to suspend an account.”

Watch part one of the interview HERE and part two HERE.

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. .

Allum Bokhari

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