Suspends as in bans…
Canadian intelligence expert Tom Quiggin has quite the resume. He’s worked with the RCMP, Canadian Armed Forces, the UN Protection Force in Yugoslavia, to name but a few. He’s testified before the Senate and at the Air India Inquiry. He was even an arms control inspector in Europe.
Yet, these extensive qualifications apparently aren’t enough for YouTube, which removed Quiggin’s new podcast from its platform before he even posted the first episode.
On Feb. 24, a trailer for The Quiggin Report — running less than a minute — was posted to the video platform now run by Google. All it shows is the logo of the show and snippets of audio referencing extremism and political correctness. Hardly controversial content.
Yet by March 1, Quiggin and his producers were unable to access their accounts – both on YouTube and the Gmail account they’d been using for the show.
They then received a message stating: “Your access to this Google product has been suspended because of a perceived violation of either the Google Terms of Service or product-specific Terms of Service.”
After appealing the suspension they were soon told: “We have decided to keep your account suspended based on our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.” They were never informed what actual guidelines or terms they’d violated.
“We really are at a loss to explain how a 44-second trailer can get you banned, but we believe that simply using the term “free speech” in conjunction with security, extremism and terrorism can trigger progressives,” Quiggin told me via e-mail.
A long-time media commentator, Quiggin has been a guest speaker at a number of conferences and regular discusses intelligence matters on National Post Radio, the SiriusXM Canada morning show that I host.
Quiggin’s a determined observer and critic of radical Islam, working alongside a handful of Canadian Muslims who want to expose the extreme elements they wish to eradicate from their faith.
A fundraising page describes the new podcast as giving “behind-the-scenes insight into the world of intelligence and how Western governments deal with the growing phenomenon of extremist groups gaining influence within Western governments.”
He certainly doesn’t mince words in this regard, repeatedly drawing attention to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s habit of being soft on terror. Was it this sort of talk that got his podcast banned before his team even had the chance to post the first episode? We just don’t know. Google Press did not respond to Postmedia questions before deadline.
As for Quiggin, he sees a double standard. “It seems strange that YouTube and others attack free speech advocates, but yet they allow videos by individuals such as Yusuf Qaradawi who is the chief inspirational cleric of the Muslim Brotherhood,” he wrote.
A double standard indeed. There’s already a growing chorus of concern over YouTube censorship. It’s a problem that’s been going on for years and only seems to be getting worse.
Those on the receiving end of such perceived censorship have generally taken to just venting their frustrations online. But last week one woman took her grievances with the company to extreme and criminal lengths, allegedly shooting multiple people at YouTube headquarters before killing herself. Police are still combing through the background of animal rights activist Nasim Aghdam, but her family claimed she was mad at YouTube for their “suppression.”
While The Quiggin Report isn’t expecting to return to YouTube anytime soon, it has gone on to find a home at outlets such as iTunes and Soundcloud.