The censor-happy goons at YouTube are at it again, but this time they struck a little too close to home.
The Big Tech streaming platform banned St. Louis radio station NewsTalk STL’s YouTube channel after it posted an interview with me discussing the 2020 election and the need for election integrity legislation on the channel.
On March 14, I joined “The Vic Porcelli Show,” a NewsTalk STL program, to discuss election integrity and legislation aimed at making America’s elections more secure. Hosts Vic Porcelli and Ken Williams asked me about a Rasmussen Reports poll, posted six days earlier, “Election Integrity Will Be Important Issue in November, Voters Say.”
The poll found that more than half of voters think that cheating affected the 2020 presidential election and that 83% of likely voters said election integrity would be an important issue in the 2022 midterm elections.
The conversation focused on the perception many American voters have of election fraud, and how legislation aimed at making it easier to vote but harder to cheat would be essential in renewing trust in our elections.
Notably, neither the hosts nor I claimed during the conversation that the election was “stolen,” only that more than half of Americans polled thought that fraud and cheating occurred.
A week later on March 21, the station reported that it had received an email from YouTube informing it that it had received a third and final strike for that March 14 episode of “The Vic Porcelli Show,” resulting in a permanent ban from the site. All its content was deleted, and it could no longer post or share videos.
Porcelli said the previous strikes against the channel were for alleged “medical misinformation” concerning alternative COVID-19 treatments such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Those strikes occurred during the first week of January and midway through February.
“All we did was read things that we see in news, stories, and things,” said Porcelli in an interview with The Daily Signal. “And one of those news stories was, say, Joe Rogan, who got COVID, took ivermectin, and it made him better.”
COVID-19 misinformation is a common refrain from the radical leftists in charge at platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. What is new—and becoming disturbingly more common—is being deplatformed for even talking about, much less claiming, voter fraud.
Current YouTube policy dictates that claiming an election was stolen or that widespread fraud changed the result of an election will result in disciplinary action. However, there is nothing in the rules about discussing Americans’ thoughts on voter fraud. Indeed, a quick search for “election integrity” on the site brings up myriad results.
YouTube’s actions toward NewsTalk STL represent a chilling new development in the far left’s censorship addiction. In this case, YouTube can’t even point to a rules violation as its reason for banning the station, as it has allowed other, often much larger outlets to stay on the platform for discussing the same topic.
And even so, what Porcelli, Williams, and I discussed is relevant information. It is newsworthy that Americans think their elections aren’t secure—regardless of whether it’s true or not. The American people deserve to know what the national sentiment is surrounding one of the most sacred civic duties we have.
To Porcelli, what YouTube is doing is destroying what makes this country fundamentally great.
“The debate is part of what America is,” he said. “You tell your side of the story. I’ll tell my side of the story. That’s what America is really all about. For you to say that I can’t say what I can say, but you can still say what you say, I don’t think that’s fair.”
But Porcelli and Williams insist the incident won’t change how they will act on the air.
In a separate interview with The Daily Signal, Williams said, “The main thing here is that this radio station is not going to compromise its opinion because of social media.”
He added that traffic on the station’s Rumble page is booming. Rumble is a free speech alternative streaming platform.
“We’re finding that it was kind of a blessing in disguise, because once we got a Rumble and other people started hearing about it, it was almost like a badge of honor,” said Williams. “And we have over 9,000 followers on Rumble right now, and and it’s only been about three months that we’ve been on Rumble.”
Porcelli confirmed that the station isn’t going to appeal the YouTube ban and will instead continue to post on Rumble and other social media platforms.
NewsTalk STL made the right decision. While there are costs associated with giving up on a platform such as YouTube, refusing to grovel and bend the knee to the Big Tech overlords is a step more outlets should take if we hope to reclaim free speech online.
“If we [remove censored content], then we don’t even deserve to be on the air,” he said.
For now, lovers of free speech should support the station on whatever platform it’s available on. Organizations and individuals who buck Big Tech deserve our support.
So, best of luck to NewsTalk STL. I’ll see you on the air.
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