YouTube to start labeling certain videos to combat propaganda -PBS cries foul

YouTube announced Friday it will start flagging videos published by organizations that receive government funding.

Viewers will be able to see labels on videos from government-funded outlets above the video’s title on the page.

“News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way,” YouTube News senior product manager Geoff Samek said.

“This notice on publishers receiving public or government funding, though still in its early stages, not only carries forward our work in this area through 2017, but represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube.”

The move comes after online tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter received backlash on Capitol Hill for their handling of Russian propaganda in the 2016 presidential election.

The social media giants have been criticized by lawmakers for not revealing the extent of Russian activity on their platform meant to influence the election.

Despite YouTube’s efforts to combat the negative use of state media, U.S. broadcaster PBS has lashed out at the move.

“Labeling PBS a ‘publicly funded broadcaster’ is both vague and misleading,” a PBS spokesman said in a statement to The Washington Post.

“PBS and its member stations receive a small percentage of funding from the federal government; the majority of funding comes from private donations. More importantly, PBS is an independent, private, not-for-profit corporation, not a state broadcaster. YouTube’s proposed labeling could wrongly imply that the government has influence over PBS content, which is prohibited by statute. If YouTube’s intent is to create clarity and better understanding, this is a step in the wrong direction.”

Via The Hill Here is the announcement in full from YouTube:

Greater transparency for users around news broadcasters

Friday, February 2, 2018

A big goal for us in 2018 is to provide greater transparency across the board to our community of creators, advertisers, and viewers. In one small step towards that commitment, today we will start rolling out notices below videos uploaded by news broadcasters that receive some level of government or public funding. Our goal is to equip users with additional information to help them better understand the sources of news content that they choose to watch on YouTube.

We’re rolling out this feature to viewers in the U.S. for now, and we don’t expect it to be perfect. Users and publishers can give us feedback through the “send feedback” form. We plan to improve and expand the feature over time.

The notice will appear below the video, but above the video’s title, and include a link to Wikipedia so viewers can learn more about the news broadcaster. (see example below)

News is an important and growing vertical for us and we want to be sure to get it right, helping to grow news and support news publishers on YouTube in a responsible way. This work follows a series of changes we made throughout 2017 to better surface authoritative news content. In 2017, we launched a “Breaking News” shelf on the home page to prominently surface news after a major event and a “Top News” shelf in YouTube search results to highlight news from authoritative sources for news-related queries.

This notice on publishers receiving public or government funding, though still in its early stages, not only carries forward our work in this area through 2017, but represents one of many more steps we will take throughout 2018 to improve how we deliver news content on YouTube.

Geoff Samek, Senior Product Manager YouTube News, recently watched “The Oxford comma’s unlikely origin.”

I find it hilarious that PBS objects to being labeled as being “funded in whole or in part by the American government”. The entity was created by an act of congress according to Wikipedia (based on the CPB financial reports):

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is an American privately owned non-profit corporation created in 1967 by an act of the United States Congress and funded by the federal government to promote and help support public broadcasting.

The CPB’s annual budget is composed almost entirely of an annual appropriation from Congress plus interest on those funds. 95 per cent of the corporation’s appropriation goes directly to content development, community services, and other local station and system needs.[8]

For fiscal year 2014, its appropriation was US$445.5 million, including $500,000 in interest earned. The distribution of these funds was as follows:[9]

  • $222.78M for direct grants to local public television stations;
  • $74.63M for television programming grants;
  • $69.31M for direct grants to local public radio stations;
  • $26.67M for PBS support;
  • $22.84M for grants for radio programming and national program production and acquisition;
  • $22.25M for CPB administrative costs;
  • $7.00M for the Radio Program Fund.

Public broadcasting stations are funded by a combination of private donations from listeners and viewers, foundations and corporations. Funding for public television comes in roughly equal parts from government (at all levels) and the private sector.

PBS doesn’t seem to get the “funded in whole or in part by the American government” part. If YouTube makes an exception for their caterwauling “No fair!” then the whole YouTube labeling program will be moot.

One wonders if this labeling will extend to government funded climate propaganda. Surely things like this from PBS will be labeled on YouTube. But what about NOAA, NSIDC, and NASA GISS videos? One can only hope.

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F. Leghorn
February 4, 2018 10:59 am

PBS is right. They aren’t a government broadcaster. They are a leftist Democrat broadcaster.

Reply to  F. Leghorn
February 4, 2018 11:50 am

Wait for it. Our friend Katharine Hayhoe will jump on this protest bandwagon.
PBS Digital Studios
“Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe”

Bob Meyer
Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 4, 2018 12:05 pm

I watched one of Hayhoe’s videos (couldn’t get the one posted because of “errors”). What kind of label should be used for this? Government supported? Fake news? Sound Science? Sounds like Science?

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 4, 2018 12:48 pm

Bob: “Sounds like Science” is good.

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 4, 2018 1:14 pm

“sounds like science” sounds like sound science. I like it.
Now WTF is a “growing vertical ” ? Vertical is an adjective not a noun, so you can not have ” a vertical” be it growing or otherwise.

Reply to  Russell Cook (@questionAGW)
February 5, 2018 7:05 am

a vertical line or plane.
“the columns incline several degrees away from the vertical”
an upright structure.
“we remodeled the opening with a simple lintel and unadorned verticals”

Reply to  F. Leghorn
February 4, 2018 12:39 pm

Simple solution here is for PBS to forswear any further funding from the US government, or from state governments as well.
When (and only when) PBS gives up their government subsidy, they can proclaim their independence and not be tagged by YouTube.
Problem solved

Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 1:01 pm

If government money is such an insignificant part of PBS’s funding that it doesn’t affect their impartiality, surely they can give it up right away.

Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 2:20 pm

I wish half a billion dollars was an insignificant part of my funding.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 2:25 pm

I’ll believe PBS is “impartial” when I see scientific pieces skeptical of AGW being aired with regularity on PBS.

Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 4:19 pm

How would I watch reruns of Antiques Roadshow, if the $ taxpayer subsidy dried up? In fact, how would I be able to watch reruns of Antiques Roadshow on the touchscreen of my Tesla Model 3 … if all the $ taxpayer subsidies dried up? Help, Nancy Pelosi, HELP!!

Mickey Reno
Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 5:06 pm

I hate that any of my tax money goes to PBS/NPR. I’m being forced to pay for political statements and promote political ideas with which I disagree. Congress shall pass no law that abridges freedom of speech, religion, or the right to peaceably assemble… anyone, Buehler?

Reply to  GeologyJim
February 4, 2018 6:46 pm

What’s that? Mueller? Mueller?

Reply to  F. Leghorn
February 4, 2018 12:53 pm

Would you believe well-funded by global socialists/Marxists donors as well? (Check the other PBS and NPR ‘foundation’ contributors. Same peas, same pod.) Might even learn to like face book before it’s over.

Reply to  Wrusssr
February 5, 2018 8:57 am

Excuse me, I provide financial support to my local PBS TV station, and I doubt that anyone would call me a gloabl socialist/Marxist. Sweeping generalizations are really annoying. (-:))

El Duchy
February 4, 2018 11:00 am

This is a good idea. The general public should always be informed of any organization being supported with government funds. If outfits like PBS are concerned about being misrepresented simply publish their accounts showing clearly what percentage comes from government funding.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  El Duchy
February 4, 2018 1:49 pm

Not a good idea. It’s the camel/nose-in-the-tent thing.
Given the nature of the YouTube management, how long would it be before you’d see “Funded in part by Big Oil” at the bottom of videos from Minnesotans for Global Warming?

Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 4, 2018 6:02 pm

That would really mess up the greens extortion scam, wouldn’t it?

jim hogg
Reply to  Mike McMillan
February 5, 2018 6:39 am

Transparency is a very fine thing imv. I’m guessing and hoping that most honest people would like to see more of it. Details of sources of funding, private, or public, should be included with all propaganda and also all materials claiming to be strictly scientific, plus the purpose of the material/propaganda (meant to generate profit or persuade politically etc?) and the political position of the funding source and authors. The American right sees government as the source of various threats, but in other cultures a sizable percentage of the population see large private corporations and their lobbying bodies as pernicious and or parasitic etc. As the net is a worldwide resource it makes sense to me to have an even handed approach to enlightening all potential readers/consumers as too many people seem incapable of distinguishing between facts (rare phenomena indeed) and propaganda (common as weeds).

M Courtney
February 4, 2018 11:01 am

All BBC programs should be labelled as such too.
But no doubt they will claim to be an independent corporation that just happens to be funded by an hypothecated tax.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
Reply to  M Courtney
February 4, 2018 12:47 pm

True but my disgust with the BBC is that it’s charter specifically tasks it with the responsibility of providing fair and balanced coverage. Reasonably they should have given a voice to those who dispute on the basis of serious scientific objections the accuracy of the claim that the planet is warming from human activity driven by CO2 emissions.
This the BBC calculatedly and knowingly has chosen to flout, adopting an extremist position which every day looks increasingly untenable. Instead of correcting its deliberate misleading of the British people, it’s journalists, producers and presenters have chosen to abuse and vilify all those who have attempted to give an alternative viewpoint. This has included happily referring to them in the same context as holocaust deniers and other prejorative terms. The BBC presenters have also chosen outright lies and systemic deceit in their unchallenged Green propaganda.
One day this will need to be addressed with some very serious holding to account of the many BBC self-appointing and self-selecting elite who are fully and enthusiastically immersed in a vast misspending and worse of staggering amounts of public money.
No wonder they are determined to stick it out in the increasingly desperate hope that the alarmist cause can continue to fiddle the figures and more warming of any sort turns up. It’s not a bet anyone with any sense would take.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 4, 2018 2:37 pm

Agreed 100%; all well and good to have an “impartial” news source, but when it flouts its duty to be just that based on the politically correct viewpoint, then it’s nothing but the west’s version of Pravda.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 4, 2018 3:09 pm

UK BBC news about Carillion pension deficit most interesting when the BBC itself has a deficit at last measure in its own staff pension fund of £1,800,000,000 . (1.8bn).

Pompous Git
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 4, 2018 3:46 pm

“…then it’s nothing but the west’s version of Pravda.”

That’s actually quite useful. In Russia they used to say: “I know it’s not true. I read it in Pravda.”

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 4, 2018 4:51 pm

Pompous Git –
“I know it’s not true. I read it in Pravda.”
well, yes. I pretty much apply this approach to the BBC on much controversial stuff.
I tend to believe their football and rugby scores, for example – but Polar Bears ‘running out of food’ has a believability quotient of about 0.01. Downhill.

Reply to  Auto
February 4, 2018 5:05 pm

Auto, replying to Moderately Cross of East ANglia

I tend to believe their football and rugby scores, for example – but Polar Bears ‘running out of food’ has a believability quotient of about 0.01. Downhill.

That’s because the BBC knows there are actual witnesses to the BBC’s football (soccer) and rugby games, and there are people interested in the past records of the past football and rugby scores. Climate change? The BBC knows that the ONLY “people” interested” past climate change records, climate change “scores” and future climate change wins and losses ARE the ones pushing the very lies and exaggerations and forecasts they are re-presenting as “news”.

James Bull
Reply to  M Courtney
February 5, 2018 12:52 am

This labelling of BBC programs was my first thought as well can just see them all running in circles screaming till their heads go bang (now that would make for good viewing)
James Bull

February 4, 2018 11:06 am

By its’ nature government funding is political and any should be labeled as such. Biased reporting shouldn’t receive any government funding unless opposing views are funded and offered with the same availability.

Reply to  markl
February 4, 2018 1:17 pm

Ditto for “climate” research funded by government grants.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Sparky
February 4, 2018 2:39 pm

Indeed. The circular reasoning of “skeptical science can’t be right because little is “published” compared with pro-AGW views” (with the unspoken subtext of “because we block their funding at every turn and push out editors who don’t tow the party line at every opportunity) is a complete sham.

Reply to  markl
February 4, 2018 6:13 pm

CALSTRS, California pension fund
Re: Financial resources behind climate change.
‘Green Initiative Task Force’
2016 Annual Report period ending June 30, 2016, 60 pages
Includes Gore’s organization.

Reply to  Barbara
February 4, 2018 7:49 pm

CalPERS, (California pension fund), Aug. 15, 2016
Re: Financial resources. Sustainable investing – Global Governance program.
‘CalPERS Adopts Environmental, Social, and Governance Strategic Plan’

February 4, 2018 11:07 am

Delete command, has some proper meaning, to a degree, in PC’s, personal digital devices, to an extent, but no so much when internet nodes, and internet servers considered…
Nothing is really and actually deleted in the Internet…:)

February 4, 2018 11:15 am

PBS/NPR may not consider themselves government broadcaster but as Mr. Leghorn states they are a leftist Democrat broadcaster. They represent more in the deep state of the government. Every so often I try to listen to NPR to see if the bias has changed. I recently did that. No change. They treat our favorite subject man-made climate change as a given and no skepticism presented. You can tell their disdain for President Trump and his supporters. Of course with high brow voices and opinions.
On one broadcast they were discussing how President Trump attending and speaking at the World Economic Forum was unique in that the foreign leaders would have to manage the President as opposed to respecting him. That President Obama was such a great world leader and it would be hard for a man like President Trump to live up to the Obama high standards. Not much bias there.

Reply to  garywgrubbs
February 4, 2018 1:04 pm

Obama? Standards? HAHAHAHAHAAH!

Reply to  garywgrubbs
February 4, 2018 5:01 pm

O’Barmy – the ‘community organiser’ in possibly the most corrupt local government outside Lagos.
Parts of Russia and Syria probably compete.
And Trump – ignore the hair – a man who is a billionaire [yes, family had wealth] – in NYC Real Estate.
I don’t have experience [I know London a bit], but I assume that NYC is as adversarial and ruthless as London. Perhaps more so [I Do Not know].
As the examinations say – ‘Compare and Contrast’.
Looks like one can get things done.
No – not a fan of the Donald – but I am coming to respect his achievements.
Joint Ice-hockey team from the two Koreas . . . . I didn’t see that coming.
More to come? Let us see!

February 4, 2018 11:16 am

Simple solution to their angst – defund them. They don’t need government funding anyway.

Reply to  icisil
February 4, 2018 11:24 am

Exactly my thoughts. If PBS is so sure that “a small percentage of [its] funding [comes] from the federal government”, then why don’t they just cut off that funding and function entirely on investments and donations from people and companies?

Reply to  leowaj
February 4, 2018 12:54 pm

“Please block Donald Trump’s plan to slash funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, endangering PBS Kids, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Thomas and Friends, and other essential public programming for children.” From Soros’s MoveOn petitions.
Funny, it seems Soros believes PBS is highly reliant on government funding. I don’t see the billionaires out there making up the $445 million/year the government gives PBS. Guess it’s not really that important. (Gates is excluded since I read he’s paying of Nigeria’s national debt). Things are never as they seem in politics land. It’s all just a money grab and if anyone exposes it. well……You know.

Reply to  leowaj
February 4, 2018 2:12 pm

Yes, because television is sooooo vital for children’s healthy development. And only PBS creates programs for children. And everything on their programs is factual, not opinion…
This is like when Sesame Street was trying to cry poverty.

AGW is not Science
Reply to  leowaj
February 4, 2018 2:41 pm

Great idea. More taxes and/or deficit spending reduced, with a side of less propaganda. Win win!

Reply to  leowaj
February 5, 2018 9:40 am

PBS is making a ton of money off of all of those programs.
Between licensing fees and merchandise sale, they are bringing in millions per year.
None of those programs would be cut if government funding were eliminated.

Reply to  icisil
February 5, 2018 9:06 am

It was, IIRC, during the Reagan Presidency that all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was eliminated from the budget. The outcry was predictable. We found out that most PBS TV stations were getting ~10% of their budget from the CPB. And the local stations turned up the wick on their pledge drives, and the right-thinking people gave more money and the stations found out that they didn’t need the money from the CPB. But the right-thinking people persisted with the outcry, and CPB funding was restored. But this little experiment demonstrated that the CPB funding wasn’t really needed.

February 4, 2018 11:19 am

Boy does PBS cry to high heaven when anyone mentions removing govt funding.

J Mac
February 4, 2018 11:22 am

The Propaganda Broadcast System objects to being identified as a government funded propaganda source?
I’m shocked, SHOCKED I tell you!!

Reply to  J Mac
February 4, 2018 2:39 pm


February 4, 2018 11:29 am

More importantly, PBS is an independent, private, not-for-profit corporation, not a state broadcaster. YouTube’s proposed labeling could wrongly imply that the government has influence over PBS content, which is prohibited by statute.

Is PBS trying to make a joke?
Whether it is prohibited by statute or not, the government DOES have influence over PBS content. Everyone at PBS is aware that if they provide content that upsets the wrong person/people in the government they could see their funding reduced. And conversely, if they produce content that the right people in government like they could see a funding increase. It is a fact of life.
Every group that exists on funding from outside sources makes content decisions based on the perceived biases of those funding sources lest the sources find other groups to fund that are better aligned with their beliefs/objectives.

Reply to  ddpalmer
February 4, 2018 4:20 pm

Yep. Just ask Juan Williams.

February 4, 2018 11:31 am

Suzy Orman.
PBS is so important that it has to be funded with tax dollars and they constantly run her infomercial

February 4, 2018 11:32 am

When you try to push your ‘Russians are influencing the election’ meme, and the result is all your Fake News outlets get labeled as propaganda.
Feels like winning

AGW is not Science
Reply to  schitzree
February 4, 2018 2:44 pm

I’m really so sick of hearing about the “Russian influence” meme about the election. Leftist idiots simply can’t accept that Hillary was a horrid candidate and THAT, not any Russian influence, is why they lost.

Gerry, England
February 4, 2018 11:41 am

Sounds like a good start.
Next, how about putting the percentage of funds received from government on charity videos given Oxfam’s latest tirade against capitalism?

Ted Clayton
February 4, 2018 11:42 am

It’s better all-round, to do it the way Anthony Watts does it, with his own WattsUpWithThat site.
It’s better to keep content-curation and communications on private websites.
Ultimately, under the Social Media model, nobody will know how to use the Internet, other than by providing YouTube and FaceBook and Twitter et al with free content. These businesses will remain useful, but we should beware of them becoming the be-all & end-all … which yeah-huh is their explicit goal.
It’s work to manage Content, and communications. Websites require some modest expertise to begin, and in more-advanced forms & applications, quite a bit more expertise yet.
But … both storage and delivery improve constantly, while the cost drops. The main input, becomes (mental) sweat-equity.
Web-literacy can be seen as similar to other forms of non-negotiable literacy. Make the effort, or fall to the evolutionary wayside.

Reply to  Ted Clayton
February 4, 2018 4:19 pm

Well I’m a Neanderthal then. I do not tweet nor use Facebook.

Ted Clayton
Reply to  Rah
February 4, 2018 5:21 pm

Neanderthals R Us. I was almost ready to admit defeat to the Social Media borg and be assimilated, when the early rounds of FaceSlime etc started oozing out of their pores. I yanked my hand back from the Signup button and continued on my recalcitrant way.
The ‘hook’ I had inhaled & had to deal with, was the Google News aggregate. What a marvel … but then increasingly, the thumb was too-visible on the pan. I built a big local HTML page with links to persona non grata websites like this one, and made it my Browser Homepage. (And one can still scan for news from the Google Search page, which skips the News-massage. You just have to perform explicit searches.)
I’m a WordPress guy, like Mr. Watts. Like the old song goes, ‘Sometimes we wish someone would do it better’ … but considering the escalating fetid-factor out there, it’s getting really hard to gripe. Mr. WP Matt Mullenweg is an earnest person; has to make compromises sometimes, but keeps his core principles front-and-center.

Reply to  Rah
February 5, 2018 9:11 am

Wow, I’m a deplorable and a Neanderthal. And I’l go you one better. I still use a flip-phone on those occasions when I need to make a call away from my land-line.

Robert of Texas
February 4, 2018 11:46 am

I am all for defunding PBS. You cannot have a government funded program that remains unbiased – they always seem to drift to the left in democracies. So defund them, unless they stick to non-political subjects.
Please! Label all news with labels on how they were paid for. Information is good.
Of course, now the ones with the agendas will just figure out how to obscure even this basic information through shell companies.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 5, 2018 9:44 am

Leftists tell us that funding determines content.
That’s why they are apalled when they think about big oil donating to political parties, or being involved in scientific research.
On the other hand, leftists will also tell us that government money is pure and never influences them.

Joel O'Bryan
February 4, 2018 11:48 am

This warning label trend has been going on for decades and is just extending to Social Media. The social media CEOs got beaten up by Congressional politicians looking for political points in hearing last summer over the Russia interference false flag operation from Democrats.
On consumer products, there are warning labels on everything for everything.
California is the worst at imposing Warning Labels. And every bar and establishment in the US has to post a warning sign about alcohol risks to Pregnancy.
You can’t watch a dvd movie or stream a movie these days without seeing the FBI warning about Piracy of Video being a federal crime.
If you’ve bought an extension cord lately, there are 3 large, hard to remove Warning multi-lingual labels on every one.
The point is the government beat up product manufacturers and enabled lawsuits against them as a pay-off to the tort bar. The warning labels and notices are just a reaction to being beaten up by politicians and ambulance chasers.
So in time these warning notices on YouTube will become meaningless (They probably already are) Just like the annoying Mattress labels.

Bob Meyer
February 4, 2018 11:55 am

Be careful what you wish for. Virtually every college accepts funding in terms of government backed loans, state tuition support, Pell grants and most importantly, research grants. Along with labeling stuff from Michael Mann would be stuff from Roy Spencer both of whom are supported “in whole or in part” by various levels of government.
With the exception of Hillsdale College there are no university programs or professors that are not supported either directly or indirectly by the government. Since even Hillsdale is a tax-exempt non-profit they too could be considered government supported.
Who would be left without the government support label? Billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and, of course, Donald Trump and the Koch brothers.
Since Google cooperates with the governments of every country in which they provide web searches, wouldn’t they also be considered beneficiaries of government actions? They are constantly pressured by European governments to ban certain sites. Should Google, the owners of YouTube, be obligated to name all of the regions where a given video is banned? “This video is not available in Russia, China or California”.
At what point can it be said that a given entity is free from government control?

Reply to  Bob Meyer
February 4, 2018 1:07 pm

“Since even Hillsdale is a tax-exempt non-profit they too could be considered government supported.”
Uh, no.

Bob Meyer
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
February 4, 2018 2:15 pm

Tax exemptions are referred to as “tax expenditures”.
“Tax expenditures describe revenue losses attributable to provisions of Federal tax laws which allow a special exclusion, exemption, or deduction from gross income or which provide a special credit, a preferential rate of tax, or a deferral of tax liability.” — From the Treasury Dept website
Enforcement of provisions like this are done by denying tax-exempt status to political enemies.

Bob Denby
Reply to  Bob Meyer
February 5, 2018 8:29 am

True, Congress, with the power to tax, has first claim on the fruits of our productivity (if not our productivity itself) and, in its conceit, believes that whatever it allows one to keep for one’s self, is somehow a ‘gift’, an ‘exemption’. In other words, If you’re not in jail it’s only because Congress has not yet found reason to put you there!

February 4, 2018 11:59 am

Facebook etc. should no more be censoring content than should Western Telegraph or the phone company. They should be common carriers with no responsibility for what people post. If people post illegal stuff, then it’s they that the cops should go after.
There’s evidence that Facebook, Twitter, et al. suppress conservative news. link
My favorite common carrier example is the Sintaluta case. The railways were only shipping wheat for the big grain companies. Farmers or farmer organizations couldn’t get cars. That meant the grain companies could stick it to the farmers, which they did.
The governments and courts forced the railways to be common carriers and accept everyone’s traffic on a first come first served basis.
Private property and fairness are sometimes in conflict. A society that can’t balance things like that is doomed.

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  commieBob
February 4, 2018 5:37 pm

Interesting development at Facebook.
“MORE THAN HALF OF FACEBOOK’S launch partners on Instant Articles appear to have abandoned the format, new Tow Center research suggests…
Of our sample, only BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News, and HuffPost had remained staunchly committed to Instant Articles. Fox News left, but then returned. CNN remained noncommittal, typically posting 40–60 percent of stories as Instant Articles. The Wall Street Journal, Vice News, and the Tronc titles have steered clear. This period also covers the aforementioned departures by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vox.”

Reply to  commieBob
February 4, 2018 9:09 pm

Don’t forget Google. Here’s an enlightening but disheartening article:
Here’s an eye-opening excerpt:

Searches were also modified to promote SJW fancies, such as their obsession with race. For example, contrast the Google image search “white couples” versus “black couples.” Or try “American inventors.”

Go ahead and click the links, to see what he’s talking about. I clicked, and I was astonished. How can anyone think such overt, institutionalized, racial discrimination by Google is acceptable? I can see why they dropped their “don’t be evil” motto.
But I think Facebook is even worse. Facebook takes a hard line against conservatives, especially social conservatives. I was “blacklisted” by them for about six years: all my comments on all news stories from my main FB account or my associated business account were blocked or “ghosted” (hid) on every site which uses the Facebook Comments Plugin (which they used to call the Facebook Social Plugin).
It is insidious. A “ghosted” comment appears to be there, only if you’re logged into your own account. It is invisible to everyone else. It’s how Facebook censors people while trying to prevent them from noticing that they’re being censored.
Lots of other people have had the same problem. There is some discussion of it here (which FB has “closed” to further comments):
I was apparently blacklisted by FB because I posted comments in favor of the NC Marriage Amendment, which FB’s corporate leadership strenuously opposed.
I finally created another FB account, associated with a different email address, so that I could comment on news stories, on sites which use the FB Comments Plugin.

Reply to  daveburton
February 5, 2018 9:45 am
Reply to  commieBob
February 5, 2018 9:46 am

Government restricts competition. Then uses lack of competition as an excuse for even more regulations.

February 4, 2018 12:01 pm

This could well be a step in the right direction – making more metainformation available so that people can better make up their own minds. But it isn’t only governments that fund propaganda. We should also know who receives funding from – for example – George Soros, the Koch brothers, Greenpeace, Exxon, WWF, Industry organisations, Trades Unions, etc, etc. And then we need to know who has NOT received funding from – for example – Exxon – when repeated claims are made that they have.
The reality in the end is that societies will have to rely on people’s ability to detect propaganda, or at least be level-headed and sceptical enough not to destroy their society because of it. With religious and environmentalist fundamentalism having so much influence now, it’s becoming rather difficult to be optimistic. How ironic is it that opposition to pessimism can make one pessimistic.

Reply to  Mike Jonas
February 4, 2018 12:35 pm

“The reality in the end is that societies will have to rely on people’s ability to detect propaganda, or at least be level-headed and sceptical enough not to destroy their society because of it. ”
Unfortunately, while facts are more factual than beliefs, too many people would rather cling to their beliefs than give any credence to the facts. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is just one recent example of this and it leads me to conclude that a peaceful road ahead is not likely.

chris moffatt
February 4, 2018 12:10 pm

” YouTube’s proposed labeling could wrongly imply that the government has influence over PBS content, which is prohibited by statute.” Could have fooled me. They are so controlled by the alt-leftist agenda that they remind me of the old RFE/radio moscow/OPS halcyon days of radio propaganda. Be it politics, economics, climate change, foreign affairs or whatever else look not to Public Broadcasting for truth. They are clearly “assets” under Project Mockingbird.

Reply to  chris moffatt
February 4, 2018 2:17 pm

Well, we all know that when something is legally prohibited, no one EVER does it.
Stop laughing!

February 4, 2018 12:37 pm

Would you invest in a college student who majored in theater and wanted to go to graduate school in puppets?
Big Bird is worth well over $150 million, Bert and Ernie are no slouches either, their combined worth is over $100 million. these characters are wholly owned by the private company CTS, Children’s Television Workshop. All expenses and needed funds come from the taxpayers via PBS, all profits flow to the private company owners.
A perfect example of the vaunted Public/Private Partnership.

February 4, 2018 12:40 pm

Better it should be publicized as well those which are leftist controlled whether public or private. Would be easier, of course, to list those which are not.

John Bell
February 4, 2018 12:47 pm

I am not a leftist but i sometimes listen to NPR/PBS and (does anyone else notice) that they are always banging a “drum” depicting oppression of blacks/indians/women and just fixating on it all the time (Independent Lens) and i have got so sick of the constant banging of that drum (racism/sexism) I think many have burnt out on that message, it shows that things are very good for all now and no real room to complain but they just have to be leftists and complain about something but seem to have run short of anything legit.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  John Bell
February 4, 2018 12:57 pm

They will never run out of things to blame on conservatism. Always one more false idea to use as a bludgeon.

Reply to  John Bell
February 4, 2018 12:57 pm

It’s nigh unto impossible to even watch the Nature programs, with all the global warming sermons and so forth. As one commenter said in the past “Thank goodness for the mute button”.

Reply to  Sheri
February 4, 2018 2:17 pm

It’s a challenge for me to watch any Nature show as I turn the show off at the first mention of C02

Reply to  John Bell
February 5, 2018 11:07 am

Yes, the perpetual multicultural DRUM BEAT. You forgot Dreamers in the list.
Where is the coverage of organized crime, drug cartels linked to terrorist groups such as Hezbollah, drug murders, mass graves, south of our border all the way to South America? When they cover the opioid crisis, they always blame American doctors. Yet millions and millions of dollars in drugs are smuggled into this country through Mexico. Over 60,000 overdoses in this country two years in a row. They never seem to find the corruption in the immigration system. All dreamers to them are good people. Yet we know that the largest cities in this country are drug capitals/distribution centers and ‘Sanctuary’ cities for illegal immigrants.
Not all illegals are from south of the border, but are internationals smuggled by terrorist groups. How terrorist groups get their multi millions yearly is through drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal goods, etc. But these topics aren’t linked together or even discussed.
Don’t get me started on the Trump campaign or election, their they were the leftist drummers for the whole period to this day.
There is no balanced reporting. Much less fair in anyway.
Half a billion dollars again this year.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Preliminary FY 2018 Operating Budget

Pop Piasa
February 4, 2018 12:54 pm

Maybe PBS should divest from all grant funding and become completely subscriber financed. Just like Sirius-XM. Then they’ll know if what they preach sells or not.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
February 4, 2018 12:57 pm

How can they achieve net-neutrality when they haven’t yet achieved public radio neutrality?

February 4, 2018 12:54 pm

Another backdoor effort at content control and censorship on the horizon?
Do we really need YouTube to tell us PBS is govt. funded?
How about Russia Today (RT), the official Russian Govt. news agency? If you do not already know these things, then watching the news probably will not help you.
On the other hand:
Perhaps hard-left organizations like the BBC, (British) CBC (Canadian), and ABC (Australian) will be deemed publicly funded, as opposed to govt. funded, and therefor pure as the driven snow.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  TonyL
February 4, 2018 1:02 pm

I wonder if all they need to claim being completely publicly funded is a “go fund me” page…

Gunga Din
February 4, 2018 1:14 pm

“Labeling PBS a ‘publicly funded broadcaster’ is both vague and misleading,”

Actually, I agree. They get some funding from the public but most comes from the taxpayer via the US government.
Back before cable and the internet there was, theoretically, a valid argument for it’s existence. Those days are long gone.
Cut off the government funding completely. There is no need for taxpayers to fund PBS anymore. Period.

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 4, 2018 2:15 pm

Spot on!

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Matthew W
February 4, 2018 5:11 pm


Reply to  Gunga Din
February 4, 2018 2:36 pm

Fully agree. If they are valuable, let them earn their keep. If not, goodbye.

Reply to  Gunga Din
February 5, 2018 9:51 am

Even before cable, there were very few places with only one or two TV stations, and even remote areas could access a dozen or more radio stations.

Reply to  MarkW
February 5, 2018 11:59 am

True, but most of the radio stations and virtually all of the television stations systematically slant their news coverage to the Left. They are every bit as much a part of the “liberal press” as PBS and NPR, and far to the left of the American mainstream.
The only explanation I can think of for their lockstep leftist slant is that the J-Schools must be indoctrinating students with leftist propaganda, and perhaps teaching them to bias their reporting. (A plausible explanation I’ve heard is that J schools, being an “easy major,” got disproportionately packed with draft dodgers when LBJ exempted graduate students from the draft, and those people then became the next generation of leftist professors.)
They are very good at what they do, and if you think you can “filter out” their bias by being aware of it you are kidding yourself. You can’t.
Here’s an example: Some years ago I took a date to a pro-life Rally and March, in Raleigh. (You can see why I’m single, can’t you?) We went early, and helped set up a pro-life memorial called the Life Tree in front of the State Legislative Building. (It is festooned with ~4000 pairs of baby booties, so it takes a lot of work to set it up.) We finished Life Tree setup early, so we watched the pro-abortion rally across the street before our Rally started. (We watched from the museum window, so we wouldn’t look like we were part of their crowd.) They had perhaps 50 people at their event; certainly less than one hundred.
It was a “round number” anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and that was the largest pro-abortion crowd I’ve ever seen at one of the these events. Even the local TV news teams were there, filming.
Later we went to the pro-life Rally and March, where there were thousands of participants. When we marchd, we filled the street from side to side for blocks.
My date had never been to one of these events before, and she was amazed at the disparity of numbers. There were probably 50x as many pro-lifers as pro-aborts.
I told her, “The news broadcasts will hide that fact. They’ll make it look like there are as many pro-abortion demonstrators as pro-lifers.”
She didn’t reply, but I could see the doubt in her face.
That evening, we watched the coverage on NBC channel 17. Sure enough, through the use of artful camera work they actually made the pro-abortion crowd look larger than the pro-life crowd. (Later a friend told me that the CBS and ABC coverage were even worse.)
My date asked, “How did you know? How did you know they would do that?”
I replied, “Because they ALWAYS do it. Every station, every year. Always.”
That’s what I mean by “liberal press.” In this case, as with jurisprudence, liberal = dishonest.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
February 5, 2018 3:35 pm

I’ll add this.
PBS has always touted it’s “educational” side via shows like “Sesame Street”. “The Muppets” became a multimillion dollar product. Yet the taxpayer still pays to air “Sesame Street”.

Randy in Ridgecrest
February 4, 2018 1:33 pm

I stopped listening to PBS completely about 10 years ago. Aside from the constant AGW and leftist drumbeats I got really tired of some of their story formats. The one that made my hand stab for the dail was where a somewhat accented voice (British or generic euro) reporter voice would introduce the story via a put upon citizen of some asian or African region and you got 3 minutes of tedious foreign talking “translated” by a heavily accented voice. I hated that patronizing nonsense.

February 4, 2018 1:40 pm

PBS does not go fare enough, in my opinion. The funding source for any piece that calls itself “news” should always be revealed. Whether it is the Soros Foundation or the Heritage Foundation. Whether it is the Billy Graham Ministries or the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
If you cannot evaluate the source of “news,” you cannot evaluate its veracity. Oh, you can evaluate it by the “journalist” that is “reporting” it – but nine out of ten times these days that just means you throw it into the trash bin.

R.S. Brown
February 4, 2018 2:17 pm
Edward Katz
February 4, 2018 2:24 pm

People need to keep a close eye on outfits like PBS in the US and the CBC in Canada because both appear to be in the back pockets of the environmentalists. I can’t ever recall a documentary on either network that gives a balanced report on the probable and possible causes of climate change. Instead, they’re invariably the doom&gloom types that virtually guarantee hell or high water unless governments and consumers take drastic action to combat the phenomenon. Nor will they ever air anything on how unconcerned people really are about the issue as illustrated by the few steps we actually are willing to take and how few the really big polluters like China, India and Russia are taking. Both PBS and CBC are also good at downplaying the fact that the US has achieved major emissions reductions even while its fossil fuel production has increased.

February 4, 2018 2:41 pm

PBS and NPR are both government propaganda outlets — at least — for the Democratic Party and its fellow-traveling leftist-liberal-progressives.
My local NPR station, out of Albany, NY has gotten so much into the party-line business that I have renamed it “WDNC — a public outreach of the Democratic National Committee”.
[PS: I am not a Republican — which I consider a bad thing, second only to being Democrat].

February 4, 2018 2:47 pm

PBS… Why are taxpayers paying for more propaganda from the liberal swamp? The MSM already has that covered.
Defund PBS already. Sickens me that the counties surrounding D.C. are the wealthiest in the country, when they produce absolutely nothing of value there.

Gary Pearse
February 4, 2018 3:02 pm

You can see where this is going. I guess I’m going have to go out and do my own interviewing and counting the dead etc. I wonder…I wonder how the labelers are going to handle the FISA stuff implicating the Obama admin’s DOJ/FBI using a dossier paid for by Hillary/DNC to surveil the Trump team to knock Trump out of the race and now out of the the Whitehouse? The media is already 80% run by the Champaign Soshulists (the Champs). They also run the politifact scam where they can check adverse facts out the back door. We’ll need an algorithm to sort this out. Maybe labelling a group of news sources as fake news by the Champs will serve to pre-filter news so I can find the “fake” news that criticizes “Progressives” (a fake term like the “Democratic” Peoples Republic of North Korea) easier.

The Reverend Badger
February 4, 2018 3:24 pm

What we need is a little analogue meter in the corner with a needle which indicates the degree to which each video is biased Left /Right. There could be the standard 90 degree meter for most stuff but we can have a 180 degree needle range to accommodate Communists/Marxists and Neo-Na3is. A special orange warning flashing light could be incorporated in the scale to deal with Flat Earthers.
With this simple system it will only be necessary for users to glance at the meter in the corner to ensure that are not being fooled or manipulated. The settings of the meters for each video will be determined by the posters themselves but they will be incentivised to get it right as commenters will be able to suggest adjust the needle as appropriate an if the amendment is too high there will be a penalty.
Oh, and a small green LED in the bottom right corner to indicate sarcasm.

February 4, 2018 4:08 pm

Nothing angers the left more than informing the American people with the facts.

February 4, 2018 5:20 pm

Labeling PBS a ‘publicly funded broadcaster’ is both vague and misleading, a PBS spokesman said
Fine. Then they shouldn’t mind having their taxpayer funding discontinued.

February 4, 2018 6:55 pm

Pretty easy solution PBS. Just refuse to accept any government money are you escape the dreaded title for your you tube propaganda.

February 4, 2018 8:07 pm

I just thought you lucky Americans. Your PBS[PBS] costs you about half a billion dollars for a population of about 330 million. We Aussies are stuck with a public broadcaster (with a charter that requires it to be even handed and non-biased which is observed entirely in the breach!) that costs 25 million of us about $1.2 billion per year.

February 4, 2018 8:36 pm

Not only do PBS and NPR get federal tax money directly, they also get free “in-kind” grants of valuable broadcast spectrum, and tax exempt status, and access to subsidized borrowing via tax-exempt bonds.
My guess is that they also get a variety of other perquisites from State and local governments, and from their associations with public universities, etc.
“Public: (government-subsidized) broadcasting in the United States is a very, very big business. There are a lot of PBS and NPR stations:
PBS (television):
NPR (radio):
Take a look at the Form 990 for just one major PBS station, WGBH, Boston:
Some highlights:
* They have total assets of more than half a billion dollars, and they have net assets (that is, assets minus liabilities) of more than a third of a billion dollars. (Remember, this is just one PBS station!)
* Most of their liabilities ($171 million) are in the form of tax-exempt bonds.
* They compensate their President, Jonathan Abbott, more than $600,000 per year — which is more than the President of the United States earns.
* They spend nearly $200 million per year.
* In a single year, they paid more than a million dollars to each of four different contractors.

Reply to  daveburton
February 5, 2018 9:55 am

Don’t forget state and local government funds.

February 5, 2018 6:02 am

For years, when some member of the (R) party would suggest cutting the funding of PBS, there would be howls from RINOs and everyone to their left about how valuable a service it continues to be to those who are “underserved”. Now we find that billions in funding don’t mean they were government funded. This is so funny. But the joke is on us, because not only did we spend billions on PBS, the punch line is that we borrowed every penny of it and will pay the interest on the sum for the rest of our lives.

Bad Andrew
February 5, 2018 7:01 am

I also remember back in the early days I asked a respected climate blogger where I could go to observe this thing called Global Warming, and they said (paraphrase) “Its this squiggly line graph you are looking at.”
And I thought, “Okkkaaaaayyyyyyy…that’s a drawing”
And it only went farther downhill from there.

Bad Andrew
February 5, 2018 7:02 am

I also remember back in the early days I asked a respected climate blogger where I could go to observe this thing called Global Warming, and they said (paraphrase) “Its this squiggly line graph you are looking at.”
And I thought, “Okkkaaaaayyyyyyy…that’s a drawing”
And it only went farther downhill from there.

February 5, 2018 8:32 am

Labelling, of any kind, has an editorial component. In my book, it goes against free expression. I don’t have to warned about the source of content. I should be skeptical of all content, no matter the source. A free society is premised on the idea that people can make decisions. Of course, education is helpful. Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned. Who will decide which labels are important? Which organizations will be red-flagged, and why? Once the concept of labelling is accepted and introduced, where is the end of it? Democracy is messy. Free, unfiltered expression is part of that mess. Suits me.

February 5, 2018 9:34 am

If PBS is so upset about being labeled as receiving funds from government, then they are free to stop accepting those funds.
On the other hand, every time Republicans have tried to defund PBS, PBS and it’s supporters have gone on the warpath proclaiming that the Republicans were trying to kill PBS.
So which is it, is the government funding a small, insignificant amount? Or is government funding vital to keeping PBS going?

Reply to  MarkW
February 5, 2018 3:45 pm

MarkW wrote, “…proclaiming that the Republicans were trying to kill PBS.”
Big Bird. They say the evil Republicans want to kill Big Bird. >100K google hits can’t be wrong… right?

February 5, 2018 11:57 am

Don’t forget state funding for PBS stations. Many millions of public funds were spent in the conversion to digital broadcast capability.

February 5, 2018 3:03 pm

Fast forward 10 years.
Does anyone believe that with the advent of 5G gigabit wireless data the govt powered organs of Truth will even begin to be silenced? Let alone the minute-by-minute news speak, we’re talking autonomous vehicles and really, really smart toasters! Watch out for your toilet, it knows what you did and how you did it!

David Cage
February 6, 2018 1:41 am

It should also have to state when an article is funded by any registered or significant sized lobby group. We get propaganda information by FOE and Greenpeace presented as unbiased information.

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