Of course YouTube has every right to disallow any video they deem unworthy of their service, this goes without saying. But, when YouTube sets up it's own criteria for removing a video and then removes videos that do not fit its own criteria, then we have cause to wonder if a particular reason for banning videos is one that is kept secret from users. That secret reason would be a certain political bias used by Youtube to eliminate content. And, naturally, that bias is in favor of leftist causes and against the conservative ones.
Such is obviously the case with the recent removal of a video created by the American Life League that criticizes several promiscuous Planned Parenthood condom advertisements. The videos were removed, according to Youtube, because of an "inappropriate nature" and also because of complaints by YouTube members. But, the claim by YouTube that the ALL's ad breached Youtube's "inappropriate nature" rule does not stand up to logic or scrutiny, nor does it seem to fit their own publicly stated rules.
Last Monday, ALL received an email message from YouTube announcing the decision. The ALL website reports that, "The e-mail sent to American Life League said, 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature.'"
YouTube's stated rules, however, do not seem to apply to the banned ALL video. Some of those rules are as follows:
- YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube. Also, be advised that we work closely with law enforcement and we report child exploitation. Please read our Safety Tips and stay safe on YouTube.
- Don't post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, or bomb making.
- Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.
- YouTube is not a shock site. Don't post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies and similar things.
- 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).
The ALL ad takes snapshots, and snippets of the Planned Parenthood ads and then uses those to formulate their own political discussion of the funding that PP gets from our tax dollars. The ALL ad also discusses the salacious content of the PP ads and points out how the PP ads promote promiscuity.
This is all fair game in the arena of political discussion, it is certain. ALL does not alter the ads, nor do they play the whole ads straight through. Some context from the ads is given after which ALL promotes their political reply. Since the banning of the ads does not seem to fit the stated rules announced by YouTube, one must imagine that the political viewpoint is what has been deemed "inappropriate."
Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League, though, isn't blaming YouTube alone and thinks that Planned Parenthood launched its own efforts to attack its political enemy. “Obviously, Planned Parenthood’s attack dogs flagged our video to hide the truth, and YouTube caved to their pressure,” he said in an interview on the Catholic News Agency site.
I should add myself that it is interesting that the "Angel" ad from Planned Parenthood uses religious symbols and terminology to promote its sexually promiscuous message, which should be outrageous in and of itself.