Friday, June 7, 2019

History is So Inconvenient

6/6/19 Indie Wire:
YouTube hovers in paradox: It’s a platform for expression that vacillates on the kinds of expression it wants to support. Even when the site makes constructive changes in the content it promotes or prohibits, the outcomes raise questions about censorship and curation. On Wednesday YouTube revealed extensive new policies around hate speech in a move to “reduce more hateful and supremacist content from YouTube,” as the company announced in a blog post.
The policy also meant the removal of Leni Riefenstahl’s 1935 Nazi propaganda epic “Triumph of the Will,” which left the site hours after YouTube announced its new standards. After all, “Triumph of the Will” falls under the rubric of “videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory,” as YouTube explains one prohibited category. The movie is also regarded as one with major historical value, raising essential questions about the nature of the film medium. Does it belong in the same category as Lunikoff, a German Neo-Nazi band whose channel also got the boot?
Triumph of the Will is an important historical artifact, reminding us that artistic sorts are usually on the side of the thugs.  Just like today.  And in Ford's Theater in 1865.  But it is still on Amazon Prime.  Who knew Bezos was a fascist?

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