At the recent Lesbians Who Tech summit in San Francisco—no, seriously, it’s a thing— Susan Wojicicki, the CEO of YouTube, did an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher about how to keep younger users safe online. A “lightly edited full transcript of that conversation” can be found here. But just note the following excerpt in particular:
I’ll get to recommendations; I have a personal beef with you about that.
Okay. I can’t wait to hear.
My son, who is 13 years old, started watching Ben Shapiro videos. And he’s like the gateway drug to the next group. And then it goes right to Jordan Peterson, then it goes down and in three clicks he was in Neo-Nazi stuff. It was astonishing. And then I had to listen to it at dinner. And I was sort of like, “I’m going to kill Susan Wojcicki first.”
Okay. Here I am…
So, let’s just get this straight: Watching Ben Shapiro videos leads to listening to Jordan Peterson and then just a mere three clicks later you’re suddenly watching Neo-Nazism and advocating the wholesale slaughter of Jews? Maybe YouTube has changed its algorithms or something, because that seems like quite a big jump to make.
But, putting aside the Reductio ad Hitlerum as well as Godwin’s Law what this latest example illustrates, is how quickly powerful elites—who view themselves as being ‘progressive’—are to demonise those whom they disagree with. Because conservatives are increasingly presented as not just being wrong, but evil. Such as when Joe Biden was forced to apologise recently for referring to US Vice President Mike Pence as a ‘decent guy’.
Now there are many things that Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson might introduce someone too. Reflecting deeply on the meaning of life, questioning the current status quo and challenging the current politically correct zeitgeist being some of them. But to label either one of them as being ‘gateway drugs’ to Neo-Nazism is just plain ridiculous.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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