This video below from Kim Iverson illustrates the US government policy of censorship by proxy in two ways:
Iverson’s YouTube channel was recently shut down for a February interview with Robert Kennedy, Jr. Google/YouTube participates in multiple multi-billion-dollar contracts from the federal government.
Gonzalo Lira, a US citizen, was recently arrested by the SBU, the Ukrainian successor to the Soviet KGB. The US government has approved over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine. Both cases are arguably examples of censorship of US citizens by proxies of the US government.
For background, here is information on some of the lucrative government contracts to Google.
As far as US control over the Ukrainian arrest, consider this famous clip from Joe Biden. He bragged about getting Ukraine to fire a prosecutor by threatening to withhold a billion dollars in US loan guarantees while he was Vice President.
Ukraine is even more dependent on US aid now, so an arrest of a US citizen would have to have at least the tacit approval of the US government.
I’m not sure I see the connection here. Iverson’s channel was given a strike because her RFK Jr. interview video broke YouTube’s COVID-19 misinformation policy. While I understand her frustration and anger, she is not being censored. She and no one else has a right to use YouTube. You play by their rules or take your content elsewhere. How this strike is somehow related Google’s government contracts is beyond me.
Google dominates the videos through YouTube. It dominates ad revenue and internet searches as well. Arbitrary decisions by Google can have a huge impact on media outlets even when they do not use YouTube.
The government has allowed Google to have huge monopolistic power precisely because it allows for harassment and censorship of information that debunks government narratives.
As was the case of the Biden laptop hoax, the pretext for censorship is protecting Americans from “Russian disinformation”. Some of the former intel officials sent a letter to congress demanding protection for big tech back in April 2022 based on that pretext.
While I agree that there is a battle between authoritarianism and democracy, the primary threat is from domestic authoritarians and their allies, not foreign.
There is a battle brewing between authoritarianism and democracy, and the former is using all the tools at its disposal, including a broad disinformation campaign and the threat of cyber-attacks, to bring about a change in the global order. . . In the face of these growing threats, U.S. policymakers must not inadvertently hamper the ability of U.S. technology platforms to counter increasing disinformation and cybersecurity risks, particularly as the West continues to rely on the scale and reach of these firms to push back on the Kremlin. https://punchbowl.news/wp-content/uploads/Open-Letter-Cyber-Intel-Defense-HS-1.pdf
An analysis of the bias in Google’s search results shows that they shifted enough votes to provide Biden’s margin of victory in 2020.
The relationship of Google and other big tech with the US military is long and deep.
. . . newly published research from the technology accountability nonprofit Tech Inquiry revealed that the Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, have secured thousands of deals with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Dell, IBM, Hewlett Packard and even Facebook that have not been previously reported. Thousands of contracts highlight quiet ties between Big Tech and U.S. military
Google’s origin can be traced to research funded by the intel agencies.
Censorship of the content of videos is just the tip of the iceberg.
The video example in the OP is largely irrelevant. It’s was probably one of thousands of videos taken down that were in violation of the YouTube COVID misinformation policy.
It’s not inconceivable to say that Google was more willing to adopt this policy in light of the reward of GOV contracts but again, there’s no way to prove it. Being in the good graces of a potential client is just good business. And further, moderating potentially harmful information about COVID was the right thing to do regardless of who came up with the guidance.