YouTube Reverses Course, Restores Video Critical of Censorship of Gay Marriage Opponents

YouTube has reversed its decision to censor the views of a pro-traditional marriage organization after attention was drawn to its removal of a video last week produced by Christian preacher and hard rock drummer Bradlee Dean.

Last week, YouTube – owned by Google, whose corporate motto used to be “Don't Be Evil” -- removed the video, which spotlights how gay rights extremists are using laws in Canada to censor those who disagree with their perspective.

Shortly after the video was uploaded, malicious users of the site "flagged" it as "hate speech" even though the video discusses policy issues and does not use any derogatory language about gays and does not advocate violence.

The video created May 16 by Dean to accompany his weekly column published by WorldNet Daily and other news outlets, exposes facts about the hatred and oppression directed at conservative Christians and opponents of gay marriage in Canada by the radical Left toward people of faith, those who hold to traditional marriage. 

Among the shocking examples presented of how gay-rights extremists are using hate speech laws to silence conservatives is a ruling by a Canadian official that Christian parents who home-school their children can not teach their children that homosexuality is a sin.

Within 2 hours of its posting to the web, it was taken offline by YouTube after it was flagged by a discriminatory individual for “hate speech.” But YouTube can't blame automated spam filters – this time, actual, living, human beings who work for YouTube made the decision.

This is the text of the email YouTube sent to Dean informing him of YouTube's decision to remove the video:

The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled: Homosexual Marriage (WARNING!) Look to Canada – (BdeanSonsofLiberty). For more information on YouTube's Community Guidelines and how they are enforced, please visit the help center.

Nothing in the video violated YouTube's Community Guidelines .

Those guidelines include this statement:

We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we don't permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).”

Dean's video did not attack or demean gays – it addressed serious policy questions raised by actual events and political decisions in Canada. By taking Dean's video offline, YouTube called into serious question its commitment to “defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view” isn't all that strong when it comes to defending the right of people who hold traditional values.

The situation was all the more worsened by the fact that Dean's video (which you can now watch on YouTube) was, among other things, denouncing censorship. We're glad Google has reversed course and stood up for political speech. No matter what your opinion on gay marriage or homosexuality in general is, Dean's clip didn't deserve to be removed. His opponents should stick to criticizing his actions rather than trying to censor them.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013