Earlier this month a popular Swedish YouTube channel called Swebb TV was abruptly and without warning shut down by YouTube.
Swebb TV was not a wild-eyed, wacko place — it featured sober discussion and well-reasoned arguments. However, it was critical of mass immigration as well as the “climate change” lunacy exemplified by Greta Thunberg, and that was enough to attract the scowls of the Powers That Be.
The Swedish government has been putting pressure on Google and other tech giants to suppress “hate” on their sites. As far as anyone can determine, “hate” means any commentary that is critical of the government, and especially of its immigration policies.
Swebb TV had recently become very popular, with a viewership that rivaled that of state TV programs. From the government’s point of view, the situation had become intolerable: Swebb TV had to go. So apparently it gave another sharp nudge to YouTube, and the video heresies of Swebb TV were duly yanked from the web.
The channel says that it has copies of the video files for all its programming, and will re-establish them on a different platform.
Our Swedish correspondent LN has collected and translated material about the suppression of Swebb TV. The following article was written by Ingrid Carlqvist for “Ingrid and Maria”:
Swebb TV shut down by YouTube
A few hours ago, YouTube users discovered that the popular alternative channel Swebb TV had disappeared from YouTube.
“We haven’t received a single warning. I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot with this,” says Mikael Willgert, who runs Swebb TV.
Mikael Willgert spent all of Friday at Stockholm District Court where he watched the trial of A$AP Rocky and his two co-defendants. When it was over, he discovered several messages on his phone that his incredibly popular YouTube channel had been deleted.
When Ingrid and Maria reach Willgert, he is in good spirits. He has not yet reached home and therefore has not read the emails that may have come from YouTube, but says firmly that he never received any warnings about “offensive” content.
“Not a single one! But the channel has become increasingly popular lately. We have received over a million views and 200,000 viewing hours a month. In total, we have had 340,000 unique viewers in the last 90 days,” says Willgert.
“I am pretty sure that the real problem is not that we have committed a ‘hate crime’, but that we criticize the international interests that have a great impact on our politicians. We have reached out to a large audience, and it is probably this that got someone to respond. We have obviously put our finger on some sore points.”
Has a certificate of release
Swebb TV has a proof of publication and therefore has constitutional protection in accordance with the Freedom of Pressure Regulation and the Statement of Freedom of Expression. But since YouTube is an American company, they can disregard Swedish law. And the chance that the Swedish government would protest against this violation of our constitution can be said to be minimal.
Mikael Willgert says that all Swebb TV’s videos are stored on different hard drives so that if they are not entered on YouTube again, the videos will be uploaded elsewhere.
“I think YouTube is making a big mistake here. This opens it up for their competitors and creates new opportunities for them. Sure, it will be extra work for us to upload all our programs on another channel, but of course we will.”
The second article was published by Fria Tider:
YouTube personality: “We live in a dictatorship”
We now live in a dictatorship. This is according to YouTube personality Lennart Matikainen after the independent TV channel Swebb TV was shut down by YouTube.
It was yesterday that Google-owned YouTube shut down the major alternative TV channel Swebb TV due to alleged “hate speech”.
This is as a result of push last year by the Bonnier Group and Stefan Löfven’s government for the online giants to start censoring so-called “hatred”, which has in practice turned out to be criticism of the establishment’s mass immigration and climate alarmism.
Swebb TV did not publish incitement against ethnic groups or other illegalities, but rather skilled and academic criticism of immigration and climate hysteria. The channel is one of the most important media projects in Sweden and had hundreds of thousands of views of its videos.
Lennart Matikainen, who had a discussion program on Swebb TV, has now commented on the closure. Shutting down legal independent television channels in this way means that Sweden now qualifies as a dictatorship, he says.
“So we live in a dictatorship. The leftists who rule are pure Gestapo. If you utter a single critical word about the borderless situation in this country, the crime, the rape and everything else, and make a difference, then it will be this sooner or later, he says.
“But we still laugh at it, because it is precisely this that shows why a freedom channel is needed.
“Freedom of speech no longer functions. This is entirely controlled by the Left, which has infiltrated all areas. Things have become so sick in this country that you do not know whether to laugh or cry. But I think this is going to be an alarm clock for the entire Swedish people. And this just tells us to do even better and bigger things,” he points out.
Lennart Matikainen also has a reassuring message for all viewers, and that is that all of Swebb TV’s YouTube movies are saved and will be published on another platform.
The legacy media have not commented on the anti-democratic censorship.
Finally, an op-ed about the shutdown of Swebb TV from Samtiden, a social conservative news site:
Shutters, Blockages and Freedom Of speech
by Dick Erixon
The latest to be shut down is the independent social critical channel Swebb TV. In this case, YouTube / Google has deleted all interviews and conversations. It’s sad and annoying, but not surprising — and not a threat to freedom of speech.
Of course, it is easy to agree with Katerina Janouch when she describes the development: “the large platforms are increasingly trying to censor system-critical material. The latest in the line of victims is the increasingly popular alternative TV channel Swebb TV — where some programs were able to compete with SVT’s viewership figures — which today had their account deleted by YouTube, which was met by the dismay of thousands of viewers and followers.”
But censorship and violation of freedom of speech are not. Swebb TV has promised, in e-mail, that the TV channel will be back on another internet platform, also with previous programs, since of course all the material is backed up. For those of you who have been in the public debate for 40 years, I am amazed at how much people trust Facebook, Twitter, Google / YouTube and other private and commercial companies. They have no morals, their job is to make money. Of course, they will limit what may be displayed on their platforms when they risk losing in reputation and thus advertising revenue.
When I became socially interested in 1979, we had to print my own newspaper on messy stencils , sort the sheets and staple manually, as well as stop in envelopes, postage and hand in envelopes at the post office. This is to reach out to 400 members in a district of a political youth association. And when I started blogging in 2003 I had to write in html code and upload the file via FTP protocol directly on the website I bought on web hosting.
If this access to their own website available on the internet were to be stopped — as when the Socialist government, via Säpo, threatened the hosting company that provided the Sweden Democrats with a website so that it was closed down in 2006 — then we have censorship. Then the state threatens to strangle freedom of speech.
What the big platform giants on the internet have done is to provide technology that has enabled us all to communicate so more easily — and more cheaply. (Although we pay by giving these companies all information about our privacy so that the advertising market knows how to target us.)
But just because companies’ technology is flexible and easy to use does not mean that they have to provide socially critical opinions.
We who challenge the governing establishment cannot expect commercial companies to take public relations risks to keep the public debate open. Companies are, in this respect, cowardly because their job is to protect their owners’ money. Taking risks for freedom of expression is not in their interest. Just look at how these companies are helping the state of China censor the internet for over a billion Chinese.
So stop seeing these companies as good in the moral sense. They are good in the sense that they develop user-friendly technical solutions. But morality? No. They follow the law of least resistance and always bow to the establishment’s trends.
Alternative platforms must be developed so that those who challenge power receive technical help to reach the Internet. This is where the energy should lie, instead of being angry with Google and others.
At the same time, the shutdowns have a serious effect on the public debate when the large and hitherto common platforms cut their clientele. The more the social debate is divided into completely separate clusters, in the future also in different technical platforms, the more polarized the social debate will become.
Polarization has already come a long way. More and more people stop talking to opponents. The left cannot stand being contradicted. Blockages and shutdowns have already made the “opinion bubbles” isolated from each other.
If the left-leaning events take over YouTube, Facebook etc, and new platforms that more than profit have the open debate climate as their goal and purpose — what does the rampant segregation’s opinion bubbles mean for the social debate?
The contradictions, misunderstandings and fears for each other are growing. Will socially isolated societies be able to maintain democracy? In the Riksdag the different opinions will be represented and sit in the same room and committee. We have already seen how the Left Party refuses to sit alongside elected officials from the “wrong” party. Will committee meetings in the future be held in several different rooms at the same time, via link, so that left, right, radicals and conservatives do not need to breathe the same air?
Of course, everything is completely crazy. Whoever is (and not just calling himself) a democrat respects dissenting opinions. We must be able to speak without blocking and switching off.
New common arenas must emerge, where people are not afraid or upset to hear an opinion they disagree with. It is the lifeblood of democracy to break opinions against one another.
I acknowledge that the tone of conversation is a contributing cause of polarization. Hence my word choice: respect the opponents. Those who do so do not throw a word of praise at those whom they disagree with — as many, including Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (S) and his ministers, do. Anyone who is a democrat takes up the matter. Lets become personal attacks, false accusations or derogatory reviews.
Here, too, we have far to walk. And here it is not Facebook or YouTube who are the villains, but our political leaders who are unable to set a good example.
How should an open and respectful social debate arise? Unfortunately, I have no idea. For now, it is important to find new ways of publishing and making available establishment criticism, now that the first-generation Internet platforms are becoming the obedient tools of the establishment.
Transparency is the crucial core of freedom of speech. It must be safeguarded at all costs. Then we see how man can use the more effective technology — without abusing the words…