Last week I was censored, but in a thoroughly modern way. I did not even know it had happened until I was alerted by others.
I still do not know for certain who was responsible. Those who wanted to hear what I had to say did not even know they were being stopped from doing so.
It took place, as so much now does, on the internet. I gave an interview about the Virus Farce to two clever young men, Konstantin Kisin and Francis Foster. Calling themselves ‘Triggernometry’, they successfully present frequent programmes on the supposedly open-to-all YouTube platform.
This is now owned by the Left-wing internet giant Google and, like almost all such outfits, is based in California.
I said what I have been saying here for months – that the crashing of the economy and the stifling of personal liberty were utterly out of proportion to the danger from Covid-19. I pointed out they were damaging to public health and to the future of our society. I gave evidence for my view and quoted eminent experts. I do not think I said anything that was false or abusive.
But, within a couple of hours of launching the interview, Konstantin and Francis noticed a very strange thing. It was almost impossible to find, even if you knew where to look. They went public with the problem and immediately found that plenty of other people were having the same difficulty. The interview just didn’t come up, even if you searched quite hard.
Iam pretty sure (but cannot prove) that I was the victim of something called Shadow Banning, which is as sinister as it sounds. Someone had fiddled with the computer codes called algorithms, which guide the searches everyone makes on the World Wide Web.
A number of people, including Toby Young in The Spectator and the LBC presenter Iain Dale, joined a public protest against this. Also on my side was Freddie Sayers of the website UnHerd. A few days before, he had been brutally informed by YouTube that they were removing an excellent interview he had conducted with Professor Karol Sikora, the distinguished cancer expert.
Prof Sikora had said: ‘When the history books are written, the fear will have done much more damage than the virus, including large numbers of cancer and cardiological patients not being treated and dying unnecessarily.’ This is no doubt controversial. But Prof Sikora is more entitled to say it than most.
Read more: Peter Hitchens: Did YouTube use its Shadow Banners to censor my views? (Welcome to my world, Peter, you got the mild version)