Interviewing the Host of the Channel That Never Happened

Six hundred years ago, when elsewhere they were footing the blame for the Black Death, Casimir the Great – so called – told the Jews they could come to Krakow. They came. They trundled their belongings into the city. They settled. They took hold. They prospered in business, science, education, the arts. With nothing they came and with nothing they flourished. For six centuries there has been a Jewish Krakow. By this evening those six centuries will be a rumor. They never happened. – Amon Goeth, Schindler’s List, 1994

Invoking the holocaust as analogous to cancel culture is a tasteless stretch. Or is it? We hear the analogy every day applied to climate skeptics, who are stigmatized as “deniers.” And when it comes to online censorship, Amon Goeth’s quote from Spielberg’s masterpiece is too evocative to ignore. Because when someone is cancelled online, they don’t just lose their ability to publish new material. Their entire body of work, their history, their audience, their past, present and future, is wiped out. They never happened.

On October 18, 2018, the YouTube channel Red Ice TV was erased. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Red Ice TV is a white nationalist hate site, promoting racist views. At the time of “cancellation,” Red Ice TV had 334,000 subscribers and its videos had been viewed nearly 50 million times.

Today, Red Ice TV is just the latest YouTube channel that never happened. The online megaphone that can reach the world instantly and […] Read More