Errol Webber shot the Oscar-winning film “Music By Prudence” about a disabled singer in Zimbabwe. For his latest project, he approached politics a little closer to home.
“100 Reasons to Remember Gavin Newsom” covers various things that have gone wrong from Webber’s perspective during Newsom’s three years in power.
It’s fast and fun clip work, narrated by Webber and mostly using screenshots from completely reputable new sources like AP, CNN, and California Globe.
By today’s standards, by all standards of political discourse, in fact, it’s not particularly hard. It is well sourced and obviously topical. So why did YouTube, the near-monopoly video-sharing site owned by Google’s near-monopoly, place this video behind not one warning screen, but two?
“I can tell you what they sent me in the email,” Webber told The Globe in a lengthy interview Monday night. “On Friday they wrote an email that said,” Our team has reviewed your content and we don’t think it’s in line with our violent or graphic content policy. As a result, we have placed an age limit on the following content: 100 Reasons to Recall Gavin Newsom. “
Potential viewers of the video should now click on a screen that warns “This video may be inappropriate for some users.” When we agree to move forward despite this strict caution, we are greeted by a second black screen that warns that the content has been “identified by the YouTube community” as “inappropriate or offensive”.
Webber was shocked.
“Because they said violent, shocking, or sensational, I’m like the only thing that could fit into that category of similar or sensational violence is the section where I was talking about Gavin Newsom signing into law AB392, which you know certainly. redefines what a police officer should use to judge what would justify the use of lethal force.
It’s not really the kind of obscure, policy-based observation – one in literally a hundred – that marginalizes a video on YouTube.
“I made sure that most of the sources for this video were left-wing media, so if the fact-checkers on YouTube and Facebook wanted me to verify and discredit something, they would discredit their own left-wing media,” Webber said. “I spent 11 days making this video, from writing the scripts to researching the material, checking the facts myself, recording the scripts, editing, post-production. It’s very intensive work but I knew I had to make it perfect.
The work begins to pay off. Even with the restrictions, the video has been viewed nearly 15,000 times since its publication on August 14. Webber is not entirely new to state politics. In July 2019, Webber made a video titled 40 Reasons to Recall Gavin Newsom. He says he’s racked up “over 500,000 views” and with the recall election making it a reality, it was time to update the concept.
“I spoke with many groups of people. Many of them are worried parents who are worried about what is being taught to their children or who lose their free will to choose what is best for the health of their children. I have spoken with soldiers who find themselves without resources on the streets outside the VA. I spoke with farmers from the central Bakersfield Valley to the San Joaquin area about their lack of access to water. And I’ve spoken to people in Sacramento who are concerned about the Sacramento River and the homeless people dumping sewage into the river. Over the past two years we have talked about a number of issues such as access to good electricity, good sources of electricity and have listened to people talk about the merits of offshore nuclear and desalination, all of these. different things that could be done to make California better. . And then I watched what Gavin Newsom is doing for the state, and like anything that could be good for this state, it looks like he’s doing the opposite.
Building on the notoriety of the first video, Webber threw his own hat in the ring. In 2020, he campaigned for Congress in the 37e Congressional District, west of downtown Los Angeles.
According to Cook, this is a D + 37 district and incumbent Karen Bass has steadily racked up 90% totals to Saddam Hussein since the district took its current form in 2012. Still, Webber has qualified. for the final by finishing second in the open. primary. In November, he was inevitably crushed, but the still optimistic Webber pointed out that Republicans make up only 7% of the district’s electorate, so his 14% actually doubled his expected share.
This campaign was a revelation for Webber.
“There was one night when I was putting up signs on the lawn. Now, interesting thing, I can’t put lawn panels in the ground. I have to put them nine feet up on utility poles, but I would go around with the stepladder so I could hammer those lawn panels nine feet up because I had to keep it out of reach of ” children “. I mean the Democrats. As I set up my lawn signs in the middle of Leimert Park at night which is already dangerous, they see my car with a giant 5ft American flag draped over the hood of the car. And they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re one of those Trump guys. You better get the hell out of here. I said, ‘What did you say?’ ‘I’m not going to say it twice.’ So they’re about to chase me, so I put up my last sign and got out of there. And I’m telling myself here that I’m trying to offer them a service, solutions to a lot of the problems that they’ve allowed through their voting habits over the past decades and they want to kill me. And it wasn’t just one. There was a Trump rally in Tujunga, and across the street there were tons of protesters. So me being a candidate for Congress, I’m like I need to talk to these people. So I cross the street to go talk to the BLM protesters and one of these guys, a black man about six inches shorter than me, walks up to my face and says, ‘Hey man, you gotta fuck it. camp from here and I’m about to beat you up. And I’m like, I’m like, ‘Wait, then a black threatens to beat another black in a Black Lives Matter counter-demonstration. Please help me get this across.
Where is Webber on the recall
The Globe asked Webber about his plans for September 14. The talkative filmmaker, born in Jamaica and raised in Baltimore, isn’t exactly the type of guy who answers yes or no to question 1 or his last name only to question 2. But Webber’s explanation was so beautifully articulated that it is worth printing out in full.
“I vote yes on the recall and I am very closely following the recall effort. I believe it is important in this election that we make a business decision with our votes. It is important for candidates and for voters to carefully consider the fate of California. We have a chance to get Gavin Newsom out and replace him with someone who is competent and conservative. And if we don’t do the right thing, we’re going to be in a position where we can allow the wrong person to become governor. I’ve seen in a lot of online forums on Facebook and Instagram and so on people saying they want to vote their conscience, which sounds good, but we have another situation right now where we have a Republican knowledgeable and well-known. run in the reminder. His name is Larry Elder and he’s so far ahead in the polls that if we are to split the vote in this recall effort we could actually get hurt… Let’s all throw our votes to Larry Elder and make sure we secure him to across the finish line. “
A story of technological censorship
This isn’t the first time that tech giants have censored views critical of Democratic politicians. Three weeks before the 2020 presidential election, the New York Post unearthed the bomb when it located the hard drive of the computer of the future First Son Hunter Biden. Not only did the hard drive contain a lot of embarrassing information that had at least questionable topical value (and certainly would have been militarized if it was Donald Trump, Jr). But it also contained information that appeared to link Joe Biden himself to questionable business ventures.
This explosive revelation was noteworthy from all points of view. It was literally on the front page of the country’s oldest newspaper. And yet, Twitter unilaterally made the decision to censor and ban the sharing of the story on its platform, and even froze the Post’s own Twitter account for two weeks.
At the same time, Twitter allowed politicians and others to tweet stories falsely labeling the Post’s scoop as Russian disinformation. It was crazy. A true and important story was censored while false speculation was allowed. Congress vowed to act, and in March appealed to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to explain how such a parody could be allowed to affect a U.S. election. He apologized. That’s it. Nothing else happened.
Now we have an award winning filmmaker hiding behind not one but two “Are you sure you want to see this dangerous content” blockers? California Globe contacted YouTube at 6:18 a.m. PST to explain why the relatively common opinions of an Oscar-winning black filmmaker suddenly got behind two efforts to block viewers. We were promised a quick response. It’s four hours later and we haven’t heard anything. If we receive a response, this story will be updated to include it.