Youtube In Context: A Ten Commandments’ Tale

“free expression” has its costs. there is no requisite that wide ranging beliefs and opinions be either true or accurate. for some matters, the validity is unknown or can’t be proven. for others, there is no right or wrong.

youtube has an “in context” component of the video posting. it states “[w]hen you search or watch videos related to topics prone to misinformation, such as the moon landing, you may see an information panel at the top of your search results or under a video you’re watching. [i]nformation panels show basic background info, sourced from independent, third-party partners, to give more context on a topic. [i]f you want to learn more, the panels also link to the third-party partner’s website. [t]hese information panels will show regardless of what opinions or perspectives are expressed in a video.” [emphasis added]

i was curious about the policy as i see context boxes on many videos which relate to climate change, elections & covid.

in my youtube feed, i got a video entitled “Ashkenaz, Sephardic, Ethiopians are not Jews, No such thing as Anti-Semitism.” i wondered is this the type of misinformation that youtube was concerned about? would there be a context box?

the caption was disturbing. had it included “in my opinion” or “i believe, ” i could accept it. without qualifications, however, there are serious problems with the caption. one of the problems is that the youtuber asserts that ethiopians are not jews. the problem with this assertion is that “in the real world” and not of “belief” or “opinion,” ethiopians are “legally” jews. it is a fact based upon that an established government found them to be. this was based upon a finding by a historically significant rabbinical figure who was the chief rabbi of israel. thus, an assertion that ethiopians are not jews is more than misinformation. it is a lie.

in 1973, israel’s chief rabbi, yosef ovadia, ruled that the beta israel ethiopians were jews. ynet his leadership, along with a crew of the international community, which included many ethiopians, engineered mass migrations to israel. presently, over 100,000 ethiopian jews live in israel as citizens.

given these facts, if someone confronted an ethiopian jew and told them that are now jewish, they would be in total disbelief. given their legal status, and rabbinic opinion, any assertion as to question their identity is a total “falsehood” in the realm of “legal factual reality.”

as such, while a youtuber has a right to express topsy turvy views of religion, the world and history, there is an objective reality. the caption statement, given the “legal truth,” amounts to a total lie. painfully, i listened to the video which essentially was a regurgitation of the book of genesis touched with some exodus. noah’s sons and their lineages appears to be the limit to one branch of this identity ideology with a passage in deuteronomy being the other.

i checked the video to see if there was a “context” box. there was none. what is “misinformation” appears to be in the eye of youtube. youtube apparently has no problem amplifying toxic untruths. one must wonder about youtube’s true values. youtube appears comfortable not putting “context” on “factual lies” which exist on its platform.

with respect to the person who created the video, i offer deuteronomy 10:19, “you shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of egypt.” as a starting point for their bible study.

be well!!

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Published by biblelifestudies

I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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