YouTube Bans A Video Which Contains A Sentence They Found Objectionable.

In December of 2017, Doctor Michelle Cretella, M.D., the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, with the help of the Daily Signal, posted a video called “I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.” (The transcript can be found here.)

In the video, Cretella states:

An identity is not biological, it is psychological. It has to do with thinking and feeling. Thoughts and feelings are not biologically hardwired. Our thinking and feeling may be factually right or factually wrong.

If I walk into my doctor’s office today and say, “Hi, I’m Margaret Thatcher,” my physician will say I am delusional and give me an anti-psychotic. Yet, if instead, I walked in and said, “I’m a man,” he would say, “Congratulations, you’re transgender.”

If I were to say, “Doc, I am suicidal because I’m an amputee trapped in a normal body, please cut off my leg,” I will be diagnosed with body identity integrity disorder. But if I walk into that doctor’s office and say, “I am a man, sign me up for a double mastectomy,” my physician will. See, 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.

The highlighted sentence above ran afoul of the YouTube censors.

The response video from the Daily Signal:

The Daily Signal recently learned that our video of Cretella had been removed from YouTube. In its place, YouTube displayed this message: “This video has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.”

Over the past few months, The Daily Signal worked with YouTube to try to reach a resolution. Ultimately, we were told the only way we could get the video back on YouTube was to delete the previously mentioned sentence.

In other words, we had two choices: censor the doctor’s words or have no video on the world’s biggest video platform.

This should horrify every YouTube user—and anyone who values the importance of a public square featuring a variety of perspectives.

Cretella’s words are no doubt controversial. She is no stranger to criticism, and neither is The Daily Signal. We welcome debate.

But we don’t want to be censored.

We agree with the spirit behind YouTube’s hate speech policy, which states, “Hate speech is not allowed on YouTube. We remove content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes” including “Gender Identity and Expression” and “Sex/Gender.” We believe transgender individuals, and any individual struggling with gender identity issues, should be treated with love and respect.

Whether the Daily Signal and Cretella want to be “censored” may not be the issue.

Certainly YouTube is a privately owned company and they can allow or disallow whatever videos they want. If the Daily Signal doesn’t like that, they are free to start their own video service, or use others. In fact, they say they do use other social media platforms:

We are especially disappointed with YouTube’s decision because other social media platforms have allowed the video on their platforms. In fact, the video has more than 70 million views on Facebook. It might have even more if Facebook hadn’t temporarily removed it in July 2018. After our appeal to Facebook, it was quickly restored and remains on The Daily Signal’s page today.

For us, the issue becomes the reason for the ban on the sentence.

The YouTube policy on content includes this on hate speech, which is what YouTube claims the Cretella’s speech is:

Our products are platforms for free expression. But we don’t support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity, or whose primary purpose is inciting hatred on the basis of these core characteristics. This can be a delicate balancing act, but if the primary purpose is to attack a protected group, the content crosses the line.

It may just be us, but we don’t see any call for violence against transgendered people in the transcript / original video posted by Cretella and the Daily Signal.

As the doctor notes, gender identity is based not on biology, but on feelings. Shouldn’t people have the ability to say “your feelings are wrong?”

If we say that local politicians are wrong, are we advocating violence against them?

If we say that a school failing to teach history is in our opinion wrong, are we advocating violence against teachers?

If we say that we believe that police need to be more proactive in ridding the ranks of bad cops unions feel they need to protect, are we advocating violence against cops?

While we believe that YouTube has the right to make such decisions to ban content, it is contrary to their own policies. It reeks of “we disagree with what you are saying and won’t allow it here.”

That’s fine and we can respectfully disagree with that decision.

However, in banning something don’t rely on policies that don’t apply. Don’t say that you will allow discussions on all fruit and then ban a discussion on tomatoes because you (wrongfully) think that tomatoes aren’t fruits.

We believe that Cretella’s point was in no way shape or form calling for violence against anyone. Yet it her point is so difficult to refute, YouTube would rather ban it than let it see the light of day.

When the only response against an argument is “ban it!” we believe that means the argument is solid.

YouTube should restore the original video and let people make up their own minds about the ideas being presented.

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