YouTube Removes Jan. 6 Committee Clip: Not ‘Sufficient Context’

June 17th, 2022 5:31 PM

YouTube has shown time and time again that it won’t allow users to post about Jan. 6 or the 2020 election unless they outright deny claims of potential fraud or vote-counting errors. The Congressional January 6 Committee is no exception.

The committee released short clips of witness testimony from the ongoing hearings. 

The New York Times reported that YouTube removed a clip of former President Donald Trump alleging widespread voter fraud. The committee included the clip alongside part of former Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony. 

YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi confirmed the censorship, telling MRC Free Speech America: “We enforce our policies equally for everyone, and have removed the video uploaded by the January 6th Committee channel.” The censored video has since been made private. 

According to The Times, the Jan. 6 committee’s clip showed Trump on Fox Business talking about voter fraud. “We had glitches where they moved thousands of votes from my account to Biden's account,” Trump said. “They're not glitches. They're theft. They're fraud, absolute fraud. This election was over, and then they did dumps; they call them dumps, big massive dumps; in Michigan and Pennsylvania and all over.” 

The full hearing footage showed that Barr denied Trump’s voter fraud claims multiple times. But apparently, the censored clip included none of his denials, and YouTube claimed it violated the platform’s election integrity policy

YouTube told MRC Free Speech America that its “election integrity policy prohibits content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election if it does not provide sufficient context.” 

The policy describes context as providing “countervailing views,” or clearly showing that the content is meant to “condemn, dispute or satirize” voter fraud claims. 

In other words, YouTube only allows users to post clips of Trump or others suggesting foul play in the 2020 elections if and only if the videos condemn, dispute or deny the allegations. This includes news interviews and even the Congressional January 6 Committee’s videos.

MRC CensorTrack documented four news clips YouTube removed for similar reasons:

  • YouTube removed a New York Post interview used by the Justice Department. A channel reportedly owned by a New York Post journalist, posted a video of its interview with Jan. 6 rioter Aaron Mostofsky, according to the New York Post. The New York Post reported that the video was "one of the only professional interviews conducted with a rioter inside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,” and that the interview “was cited by many news outlets and the Justice Department used it to help prosecute Mostofsky." Choi told MRC CensorTrack that it removed the video due to Mostofsky's comments about the 2020 election.
  • YouTube suspended The Hill for reporting Trump’s comments. Robby Soave, co-host of The Hill's show "Rising," reported for Reason that YouTube suspended The Hill's channel for videos showing Trump’s claims of voter fraud. Soave said that one video showed “raw footage” of Trump’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 26. A second video showed Fox News interview with Trump and  Laura Ingraham. Choi confirmed to MRC CensorTrack that it suspended The Hill’s account due to election integrity policies. 
  • YouTube deleted Right Side Broadcasting Network's interview with Trump. YouTube deleted Right Side Broadcasting Network's (RSBN) interview with Trump for allegedly violating its "Community Guidelines." At one point in the clip, Trump called the 2020 election "rigged." According to an RSBN press release, YouTube accused the network's video of "elections misinformation."

Conservatives are under attack. Contact YouTube at 650-253-0000 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.