Once again, YouTube is trying to affect Americans’ access to the news.
Former President Donald Trump spoke at The Heritage Foundation’s Annual Leadership Conference in Florida on April 21. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Trump discussed “rising inflation, disruptions in the supply chain, a southern border overrun by ‘millions’ of illegal immigrants, America’s lower standing in the world, and emboldened enemies,” reported The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas.
But if you want access to what Trump actually said, forget finding it on YouTube.
The tech giant, which has previously censored videos from both The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal, removed the speech from its platform Monday. A YouTube representative emailed The Heritage Foundation that the video was taken down “because it violated our policies pertaining to elections misinformation.”
“Namely, the video contains claims that the 2020 election was ‘rigged’ because of voter fraud,” added the representative.
Kevin Roberts, president of The Heritage Foundation, tweeted, “Big Tech is an enemy of the people, and needs to be held accountable with policies that hit them where it hurts.”
Clearly the video was of enormous public interest—Trump’s words had already garnered over half a million views. And if the people watching—or anyone else—felt Trump’s claim on the 2020 election or anything else was wrong, they were free to speak up in the comments, or record their own video response.
That’s how the public square should work: There should be robust conversation and debate.
And that goes for both sides. I don’t want YouTube taking down videos of President Joe Biden, for instance, making the ludicrous claim, that has no grounding in reality, that the “MAGA crowd” was interested in hurting LGBT kids. “What happens if you have a state change the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children?” Biden asked last week.
Why don’t I want it taken down? Because when the president says it, it’s newsworthy. It’s historic. It’s something we need to talk about, not pretend, in some Orwellian fashion, that it never occurred.
Unfortunately, YouTube seems hellbent on censoring conservatives.
Just consider these examples from The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal:
- In 2019, The Daily Signal’s video featuring pediatrician Michelle Cretella discussing children and gender dysphoria was removed from YouTube. Why? Because Cretella said this sentence: “See, if you want to cut off a leg or an arm, you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender.” YouTube had no problem censoring a doctor’s words about a medical issue.
- In 2020, YouTube removed a video of a panel discussion at The Heritage Foundation that featured Walt Heyer, a man who had identified as a transgender woman for a time. Discussing gender dysphoria in children, Heyer said, “This is a childhood development disorder.” That sentence, YouTube said, constituted “hate speech.”
- In February, YouTube removed a Daily Signal video featuring Virginia mom Merianne Jensen discussing her opposition to COVID-19 policies affecting her children’s public school education. A YouTube employee said Jensen’s remarks were in violation of “YouTube’s COVID-19 medical misinformation policy.” Jensen had said in the video that “COVID is not being spread in the classrooms, it is not being spread by children.”
Nor is this unique to The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal. Plenty of other conservatives have faced censorship from YouTube, while leftists seem to be unaffected.
Thankfully, conservatives have Rumble, a social media video platform that values free speech. You can watch Trump’s full speech there:
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