(LifeSiteNews) — Conservatives are continuously fighting censorship from Big Tech, especially when up against YouTube’s hate speech policy.
Like all media platforms, the site has numerous policies established to monitor and limit content related to incited violence, misinformation, and harassment, removing videos which violate such terms and conditions. However, that category of inappropriate content has broadened over the years to the general and unspecified realm of “hate speech.”
On June 5, 2019, YouTube unveiled its updated “hate speech” policy. YouTube’s announcement explained that the modified guidelines were designed to “tackle hate” by “specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.”
The announcement also included mention of goals to continue “limit[ing] recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation” by the end of the year.
READ: YouTube bans John-Henry Westen after alleged violation of ‘hate speech policy’
YouTube’s current policy states that “hate speech is not allowed” and that the platform will “remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes: age, caste, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, nationality, race, immigration status, religion, sex/gender, sexual orientation, victims of a major violent event and their kin, [and] veteran status.”
Conservatives have faced penalties and cancellation for presenting unpopular opinions or facts that counter prevailing left-wing narratives.
Users are encouraged to “report” any content, including videos and comments, which violates such standards.
Content creators who “incite hatred” against any of the specified groups or individuals face removal of content and a strike against or complete termination of their YouTube channels. However, what it means to “incite hatred” is not clearly defined in the terms, leaving the door open for censorship of political and religious views which do not allude to any kind of violence but also do not align with the values of Big Tech.
Such policies have led to an ongoing battle for conservatives, who have faced penalties and cancellation for presenting unpopular opinions or facts that counter prevailing left-wing narratives. Last week, LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen Show channel was deleted from YouTube, along with his personal access to the platform. The site claimed that the content on the channel was spreading “hate.”
The latest YouTube censorship of LifeSiteNews began at the end of March, when the platform issued a second strike against LifeSite in less than 30 days. The report which sparked the strike was an episode of the John-Henry Westen Show discussing the promotion of LGBT ideology in the Academy Award-winning film Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. Initially, the punishment was a ban on new reports on the channel for two weeks, eventually resulting in the John-Henry Westen channel being deleted just before Easter.
The censorship comes more than two years after LifeSiteNews’s channel was permanently shut down by the Google-owned media platform. But LifeSite isn’t the only conservative outlet being censored by YouTube. In 2020, former Trump advisor Steve Bannon found that an episode of his show had been blocked for allegedly violating the site’s harassment policy. Bannon had criticized COVID-19 advisor Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray, making an argument for their removal from their professional roles.
The following year, Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) had its YouTube channel suspended for two weeks after streaming a speech given by Donald Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Last week, the same platform was suspended for a week, just one day before the former president’s arraignment in New York. YouTube claimed that RSBN had violated election “misinformation” policies.
On the other hand, content supporting liberal agendas like abortion and LGBT ideology receives little to no discipline for violating the same policies. Prior to the historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, social media platforms did not remove posts which incited violence against pro-life Supreme Court Justices. LGBT activists were also permitted to advertise a “Trans Day of Vengeance” in the past weeks without much concern from Big Tech. Twitter limited the promotion of the event alongside prominent conservatives who criticized the gathering.
Actress and activist Jane Fonda called for the “murder” of pro-life politicians during an appearance on The View last month. The video clip can still be found on numerous YouTube channels despite the clearly incited violence.
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