What is going on? Now you see it, now you don’t, now you see it again. Google has been involved in some sinister censorship – or perhaps they just blundered and then caught themselves on.
Late this morning the Irish Times in Dublin ran an online story that YouTube had terminated, without explanation or prior notice, the account of the Iona Institute, an Irish-based think-tank defending the family, marriage, education and religion. Without giving any specifics the Institute got an email saying the the account had been closed “due to repeated or severe violations of our terms of service”.
By mid-afternoon the Irish Times story changed: the account was back in good standing again – but still without any explanations being given on the details of its mysterious death and resurrection.
Whether all this was a glitch or whether the furious cyber activity on Twitter which followed the Iona account’s demise caused Google to re-evaluate its censorious move we may never know. All attempts to prise information from the search engine have so far failed. Watch this space – but don’t hold your breath.
The only reason that David Quinn, the Director of the Institute, can give for the unilateral decision to terminate the account is that Google disapproved of a video which they have run on YouTube explaining the nature of marriage.
That they should have taken offence at this still mystifies him. There are many such video’s on the channel and why this one, not in any way offensive – just soberly factual – does not make sense to him. Whatever the story, “all’s well that ends well”. Whether the Google gremlins behind this are likely to strike again we will have to wait and see.