WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation announced Monday that Big Tech giant YouTube had taken new action to censor content on the organization’s channel.
On April 21, former president Donald Trump spoke at Heritage’s Annual Leadership Conference in Florida. Heritage streamed the remarks live, and made them available in their entirety to the Heritage channel shortly afterward. The unaltered 82-minute video of the president’s remarks had accumulated more than 531,000 views.
Nearly three weeks later, on May 9, a YouTube representative informed Heritage that the video was taken down and Heritage is now restricted for a week from uploading any content, supposedly because the video of the president’s remarks “violated our policies pertaining to elections misinformation. … Accordingly, the video has been removed and a strike has been applied to the channel. As a result, uploads are suspended for one week.”
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement in response to YouTube’s latest censorship of Heritage:
“We live in a country built on the principles of free speech and expression, but these Big Tech giants have their sights set on trampling and ultimately destroying those fundamental principles in pursuit of their political ideology. Why is the radical left so insecure that they cannot even stand to let others report the words of a former president?
“It is time for Congress to step up and hold these companies accountable through legislation that hits them where it hurts. We have previously laid out a roadmap for doing so—there’s no more excuse for inaction by our elected officials. If we cannot live and function in a society where such common-place documentation and speech is possible, our republic is in serious peril. Perhaps Elon Musk should take a look at buying YouTube, as well.”
Heritage and The Daily Signal, the media outlet of The Heritage Foundation, are no strangers to Big Tech censorship and overreach.
In February, YouTube removed a video on the Daily Signal’s channel for “violating YouTube’s COVID-19 medical misinformation policy.” The video featured Virginia mother Merianne Jensen confronting her school board on mask mandates in her children’s schools.
In 2021, Amazon removed paid ads promoting a book by Heritage senior fellow Mike Gonzalez titled, “BLM: The Making of a New Marxist Revolution,” because content that “revolves around controversial or highly debated social topics is not permitted.” After a public pressure campaign, Amazon reversed itself and restored the ads.
In 2020, one of Heritage’s YouTube videos on gender dysphoria was censored by the company, while in 2019, The Daily Signal reported that YouTube had also removed a similar video on its YouTube channel.
And in early 2019, then-Heritage President Kay C. James was invited to be a member of Google’s new AI board, only for Google to dissolve the board after an outcry from company employees that James, a conservative, was asked to be on the board.