Heritage Foundation Duels with YouTube over Censorship

November 5th, 2019 3:16 PM

The Heritage Foundation released a video that blasts the biggest video platform on the net for alleged censorship.

This video is “the first public acknowledgment of a months-long, behind-the-scenes dispute” between the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation and Google partner organization YouTube, reported Axios.

The Daily Signal released the video titled “YouTube BANNED This Doctor’s Video. Here’s Why” on Nov. 5. It indicated that the content was removed in accordance with a YouTube policy, which, according to The Daily Signal, states that “[h]ate speech is not allowed on YouTube. We remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes… .” Among the list of attributes, noted Senior Advisor and Spokesperson for The Heritage Foundation Genevieve Wood, were: “gender identity” and “sex/gender.”

Ms. Wood, in The Heritage Foundation’s promised video via The Daily Signal responded by stating the following:

“As our nation debates the whole issue of gender identity, and parents consider whether to give their children hormone treatments, we need to have a robust, fact-filled, serious debate. Shouldn’t parents have all the information they need, especially when it comes to life-altering medical decisions for their children? And who better to have that debate than our doctors?”

She added that as an organization “… we hope that eventually YouTube will realize on an issue this important, its crucial to let a variety of ideological perspectives speak freely— because nothing less than our children’s future depends on it.”

But where did all of this begin?

“In late September, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki met with Heritage Foundation president Kay Coles James and other members of Heritage's leadership team at their offices in Washington,” Axios wrote in a piece headlined “YouTube’s standoff with conservative Heritage Foundation” on Nov. 5.

Sources claim the gathering was “cordial,” noted Axios, and they also observed that “the two groups came to a standstill over YouTube's removal of a 2017 video from Heritage's content arm, The Daily Signal.”

The initial video that was allegedly removed by YouTube as a violation of its “hate speech” policies featured “a doctor making a comment about transgender issues.”

Pediatrician Dr. Michelle Cretella reportedly said in the Daily Signal YouTube video that “if you want to cut off a leg or an arm you’re mentally ill, but if you want to cut off healthy breasts or a penis, you’re transgender," Axios noted. And “[w]hile The Heritage Foundation concedes that those comments are controversial, it argues that the topic of body alteration is worth having a civil debate around.”

The Heritage Foundation’s vice president of communications and the executive editor for The Daily Signal Rob Bluey called out YouTube in a tweet today, saying, “As one of the largest content platforms in the world, @YouTube should welcome more discussion rather than eliminating speech at the mob’s command.”

He further commented on Twitter that The Daily Signal has been working with YouTube in good faith for months to restore a video they believe was wrongly banned and is calling on YouTube to “do the right thing.”

Bluey continued in a subsequent tweet, suggesting that conservatives who believe in free enterprise should “do the most American thing we still have the right to do” and exercise “our freedom of speech,” which is why, Bluey went on, “today” The Heritage Foundation is “speaking out to expose @YouTube for suppressing speech and demonstrating bias against peacefully expressed ideas.”

Axios’ sources added that YouTube offered to put the video back up, on the condition that The Daily Signal remove the doctor’s comments about transgenderism.

Relations between Heritage and YouTube’s owning company, Google have been rocky for a while.

Google famously scrapped an AI Ethics Advisory board because its own employees resented the fact that The Heritage Foundation’s president Kay Coles James, an African-American grandmother, would be one of its members. Liberal Google employees signed a 2,000+ petition titled “Googlers Against Transphobia and Hate” and reportedly referred to Kay Coles Jamesas a “weaponization of the language of diversity.”