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Fake News: YouTube Did NOT Flag All 'Mister Rogers' Videos As Hate Speech

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 10 May 2018 21:32:46 Z)

Did YouTube flag all "Mister Rogers" videos as hate speech because he was "a seemingly well-off cis white Presbyterian minister"? No, that's not true: a Christian-themed satire website made up that news to poke fun at YouTube's perceived bias when it comes to demonetizing and censoring conservative content.

The story originated from an article published by The Babylon Bee on May 10, 2018 that was titled "YouTube Flags All 'Mister Rogers' Videos As Hate Speech" (archived here) which opened:

SAN BRUNO, CA--As part of a broader effort to combat offensive and hateful content on its video platform, YouTube has flagged all Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes and snippets on its platform as "hate speech," displaying a stark warning when users try to access the "dangerous" video content.

YouTube confirmed the "harmful" content had been flagged after it was found to be in "blatant violation" of Google's community standards, adding that they had suspended all publishers who had uploaded videos showing Mr. Rogers smiling and singing with his neighborhood friends.

Screenshot of http://babylonbee.com/news/youtube-flags-all-mister-rogers-videos-as-hate-speech/

According to Wikipedia:

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (sometimes shortened to Misterogers[4][5] or simply Mister Rogers) is an American half-hour educational children's television series that was created and hosted by Fred Rogers. The series originated in 1963 as Misterogers on CBC Television, and was later re-branded in 1966 as Misterogers' Neighborhood and later Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on the regional Eastern Educational Network (EEN, a forerunner of today's American Public Television). The US national debut of the show occurred on February 19, 1968. It aired on NET and its successor, PBS, until August 31, 2001.

Users on social media who only saw this title, description and thumbnail might have thought it was real news:

YouTube Flags All 'Mister Rogers' Videos As Hate Speech

SAN BRUNO, CA--As part of a broader effort to combat offensive and hateful content on its video platform, YouTube has flagged all Mister Rogers' Neighborhood episodes and snippets on its platform as "hate speech," displaying a stark warning when users try to access the "dangerous" video content. YouTube confirmed the "harmful" content had been flagged ...

But a quick search on YouTube reveals Mister Rogers videos are still available, for example:

That, and "The Babylon Bee" comes with following dislaimer on every page:

The Babylon Bee is Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire.

Some of their greatest past hits include:

With a track record like that it is clear that you shouldn't take anything posted on the site seriously and you definitely shouldn't confuse it with real news.

We wrote about babylonbee.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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