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Monday, April 15, 2024

London mayoral candidate, Brian Rose, confronts YouTube with free speech messages

Brian Rose, aspiring to be London’s next mayor, recently stirred up a debate on censorship with YouTube, following his audacious move to decorate the facade of the company’s King’s Cross headquarters in London with posters underscoring the importance of free speech.

The event unfolded on the 15th of March, a Friday, when Rose managed to display several posters with slogans such as ‘Free speech matters’, ‘Say no to censorship’, and ‘Be more Elon’, a homage to the vociferous entrepreneur behind X, before staff at YouTube intervened.

Rose articulated his stance, stating, “I know first-hand how censorship can affect people and I know first-hand how much power a platform such as YouTube has over everyone who uses it. I was deplatformed by YouTube last year and, at a stroke, my business was put at risk. I had done nothing illegal and yet YouTube was able to freeze me out of my own channel, arbitrarily and without having to explain what was happening and why. Platforms such as YouTube hold great power over all their users, and make a great deal of money from those users, and yet they are not held to account for their abuses.”

Promoting London as a world-leading digital innovation hub is at the heart of Rose’s electoral manifesto for the May 2 election. He emphasizes the necessity for enhanced protections against censorship for users, alongside ensuring that digital platforms are safeguarded against external pressures to censor.

Rose has previously highlighted the perils posed by tech conglomerates when they assume unilateral control over content moderation, all while generating substantial revenue from their platforms.

Adding to his earlier remarks, Rose declared, “What I am fighting against here is a clear violation of human rights, an abuse of power that allows global mega-brands to crush the digital freedoms of the very people they rely on to make their vast profits. London – and the world – deserves better and, as Mayor, I will leverage my powers to work with the tech giants to ensure our capital is a best-in-class example of how we can embrace technology and, at the same time, protect our hard-won freedoms.”

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