(LifeSiteNews) — Just weeks after the successful launch of LifeSite’s own video platform, Big Tech monolith YouTube on Easter weekend deleted the John-Henry Westen Show YouTube channel. They also went a step further, targeting John-Henry’s own personal account and thereby blocking him from posting, editing, or even watching videos on the site. The channels were eliminated for violating YouTube’s terms of service, which prohibit the operation of additional accounts after another channel has been banned.
This latest incident highlights the importance of LifeSiteNews’ work to establish and maintain its own independent video platform immune from Big Tech censorship.
Here’s a recap of YouTube’s actions against LifeSiteNews.
LifeSiteNews YouTube channel banned
In 2021, YouTube permanently banned LifeSiteNews’ YouTube channel for alleged violations of the platform’s rules surrounding “medical misinformation” in content bucking the prevailing narrative surrounding COVID-19.
The ban meant that LifeSite lost access to more than 300,000 followers.
In the meantime, emerging evidence continues to show conservatives were right to critique the COVID response as research confirms that the mainstream claims about lockdowns, mask and jab mandates, and the safety and efficacy of COVID shots were inaccurate and harmful.
Despite this, LifeSite’s account has remained permanently banned from YouTube.
The John-Henry Westen Show channel banned
Between March 30 and March 31, YouTube (seemingly on accident as they refined their community guidelines) revived the LifeSiteNews’ YouTube channel without any strikes.
LifeSite’s video team responded by promoting John-Henry Westen Show content on the newly unbanned LifeSiteNews channel.
That’s when YouTube picked up on the fact that the two accounts were connected.
Reversing their previous evident mistake, the Big Tech platform not only banned LSN again but also banned the John-Henry Westen Show channel for posting content that had also been published on the banned channel.
The moves have annihilated both the LifeSiteNews channel and the John-Henry Westen Show channel on the platform, as well as his own personal YouTube account.
In a Wednesday statement, a YouTube spokesperson told LifeSiteNews that the Big Tech company “terminated the channels in question for violating our terms of service, which prohibit operating a YouTube channel following a previous termination.”
John-Henry banned from his own personal YouTube account
“Over the Easter weekend, things got really personal with YouTube,” Westen said in an April 11 episode of the John-Henry Westen Show, available on LifeSite’s own video platform.
“Believe it or not, my own personal YouTube account was also targeted, such that I can’t even watch YouTube videos without creating a new account,” he said.
Westen argued that the action by the company to ban his personal account is connected with a larger trend to censor and cut off conservatives.
Comparing his recent personal deplatforming with the freezing of bank accounts experienced by the Canadians who participated in the Freedom Convoy opposing the government’s totalitarian COVID-19 mandates and restrictions, Westen argued it’s necessary to have backups and contingency plans in an era of censorships, deplatforming, and de-banking.
The deletion follows a second strike against the John-Henry Westen Show channel
Prior to the outright deletion of both of LifeSite’s YouTube channels and even John-Henry Westen’s personal account, the Big Tech platform had issued its second strike against the John-Henry Westen Show for Westen’s review of the pro-LGBT and anti-Catholic Oscar-winning film “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,” in which the LifeSiteNews co-founder criticized the film for its affirmation of LGBT ideology.
In the video, originally published last year after the film’s release and then re-posted this year when the movie won numerous awards at the Oscars, Westen said “the only reason why we [as Catholics] oppose homosexual sexual relations is love.”
“It is true love for all people, especially our brothers and sisters who are tempted to engage in sexual behaviors that are harmful to them,” he continued in the video, which is now unavailable on YouTube but still accessible on LifeSite’s own video platform.
“We must love them enough to tell them that these behaviors are harmful for them,” he said. “That they are harmful physically, psychologically, and spiritually.”
Westen noted that speaking the truth in love frequently leads to the branding of people of faith as “haters and bigots” simply for wanting spiritual, physical, and psychological health for all people.
YouTube then appeared to validate Westen’s argument by moving to censor the video for allegedly running afoul of its policy regarding hateful speech.
LifeSiteNews reported at the time that YouTube had censored the John-Henry Westen Show channel for the video, slapping the account with its second of three allowed strikes before facing a complete ban.
YouTube’s policy on ‘Hate speech’
YouTube’s “hate speech policy” prohibits “content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups” on the basis of a range of “attributes,” including age, “gender identity and expression,” race, religion, “sex/gender” and “sexual orientation.”
The platform tells users they may not “[e]ncourage violence” or “[i]ncite hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the attributes noted above.” They also say they “don’t allow threats on YouTube, and we treat implied calls for violence as real threats.”
It’s unclear how Westen’s commentary regarding the well-documented physical, psychological, and spiritual harms of homosexual activity and LGBT ideology amounts to “hatred,” “violence,” or “threats,” but the characterization is nothing new.
Conservatives are frequently accused of engaging in “hatred” or “violence” in the public square for promoting traditional moral values and refusing to “affirm” divergent sexual behaviors or identities.
For instance, as LifeSiteNews recently reported, Daily Wire podcaster Michael Knowles was similarly accused of calling for a “genocide” against transgender-identifying individuals for arguing that the ideology of transgenderism must be “eradicated” from society.
Meanwhile, the legacy media and left-wing figures are quick to dismiss actual violent attacks by transgender-identifying individuals, such as the horrific shooting at Nashville Christian school or the mobbing of a feminist activist speaking out against transgender ideology, as unrelated to a broader ideology.
The importance of moving away from Big Tech
LifeSiteNews has long stressed the importance of reducing reliance on social media platforms that increasingly censor, ban, and delete pro-life and conservative content.
That’s why LifeSite established its own video platform last month so LSN can continue to publish content free from the intrusions of social media censorship. Without this important infrastructure, LifeSite would be unable to perform its essential function as a news and media agency focused on life, faith, family and freedom from a truthful perspective.
Since LifeSiteNews strives to educate and encourage people to change the culture into one that embraces truth, it would be hobbled in its mission to speak the truth about serious issues like the LGBT agenda and the scourge of transgender ideology if at the mercy of the likes of YouTube, Facebook, and the rest.
Regardless of the actions of Big Tech platforms like YouTube, LifeSiteNews videos and articles are accessible at lifesitenews.com.
This article has been updated following publication for clarity and to add comment from YouTube.