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YouTube Reinstates Pennsylvania Republican Governor Candidates Forum

YouTube has admitted it made a mistake when it pulled the video of a  Republican gubernatorial candidates’ forum sponsored by the Pennsylvania Family Institute and held recently at Cairn University in Langhorne.

“When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it. We also offer the uploader the ability to appeal removals, and upon review of the Pennsylvania Family Council’s appeal, we reinstated this video,” said Ivy Choi, a spokeswoman for YouTube.

Michael Geer, president and CEO of the Institute, is happy the video is back up but says is also disturbed it was removed in the first place and remained missing for three days.

Geer says he believes public pressure from the Delaware Valley Journal and other sources may have helped sway YouTube. But, he noted, social media such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook have become the public square and speech exercised there should fall under First Amendment protections, even though the entities are owned by private companies.

“The marketplace of ideas has shifted to the social media realm,” said Geer. “And social media companies have a special relationship with the government. The government is providing a special framework for them to operate. And if they didn’t provide the level of freedom and First Amendment accountability, something should be done.”

As it is now, social media platforms have “the unfettered ability to take things down that they don’t like.”

“We’re grateful to the candidates, who put it out there in press releases and social media comments, as well as the wrongness of what YouTube did. I think the public outcry and folks like you reporting on it, bringing attention to it, were all very helpful in the restoration of the video.”

Linda Kerns, a Philadelphia lawyer who handles election law cases, said, “I attended the Republican gubernatorial debate and heard a robust discussion of conservative ideas to fix this commonwealth after we have endured the failed policies of a Democrat administration. I imagine the woke ideologues at YouTube realized if people hear what Republicans have to say….they will never vote for a Democrat again. So their answer is censorship.  Thank heavens for Rich Zeoli who publicized this travesty on his radio show and outlets like DVJournal…who write about it.”

Dave White, one of the gubernatorial candidates who participated in the forum, denounced YouTube’s move as “another example of the leftists in Big Tech trying to silence conservatives, specifically traditional values conservatives. Apparently, standing up for the sanctity of human life and defending the rights of young girls who want to play sports is out of bounds for YouTube.”

His fellow GOP candidate Charlie Gerow said it was “an outrage. As soon as they did it, I spoke out forcefully against their attack on free speech. Attempting to silence the voices of the Republican candidates is yet another example of the cancel culture that is ripping us apart.”

At a debate Tuesday night sponsored by the Delaware Valley Journal, Republican candidates for U.S. Senate weighed in.

“The overwhelming majority of our [exercise of] free speech, which is a constitutional right, takes place on social media. So for tech companies to be able to tell people, ‘Shut up, sit down, and do as you’re told,’ doesn’t cut it. We need to be very firm on that,” said Kathy Barnette, a Fox News commentator.

But lawyer Sean Gale was not sure it would be wise for the government to intervene. However, he decried the hypocrisy of companies like Twitter, which banned President Donald Trump.

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

YouTube Censors Video of PA Republican Governor’s Forum Hosted By Pro-Family Group

In the latest incident of Big Tech appearing to target Republican politicians, YouTube has pulled down the video of last week’s GOP gubernatorial debate hosted by the Pennsylvania Family Institute.

“In a stunning and scandalous attack on a fair and free democratic process, today YouTube took down the recorded livestream video of Pennsylvania Family Institute’s Gubernatorial Candidate Forum,” the group said in a statement.

The forum drew seven of nine Republican candidates for governor to Cairn University in Langhorne on March 24.

The Delaware Valley Journal covered the two-hour forum, which was also broadcast over Philadelphia radio station WPHT and via live stream.

In a message to the conservative group alerting them of the action Youtube said, “Our team has reviewed your content, and, unfortunately, we think it violates our misinformation policy. We’ve removed the following content from YouTube: [the Gubernatorial Forum Livestream].”

Pennsylvania Family Institute President Michael Geer was outraged by the action. “YouTube offered no specifics of what is alleged to be in violation, beyond indicating that it had to do with content related to the 2020 presidential election,” said Geer, who was a co-moderator of the forum with radio host Rich Zeoli. “That election was not mentioned in our questions, and we can only conclude that the YouTube censors did not like the answers given by one or more of the candidates.”

“This is a blatant assault on free speech, free elections, on the ability of candidates to freely state their views,” Gree continued, “and on the right of citizens to hear the varied perspectives of those who are seeking their votes. It hinders the process of democracy, shuts down the free marketplace of ideas, and ironically, further erodes confidence in our elections.”

Dave White, one of the candidates who participated in the forum, denounced YouTube’s move as “another example of the leftists in Big Tech trying to silence conservatives, specifically traditional values conservatives. Apparently standing up for the sanctity of human life and defending the rights of young girls who want to play sports is out of bounds for YouTube. The beauty of our First Amendment is that it is not simply freedom of speech, but the freedom to exercise that speech, which includes making our voices heard at the ballot box. YouTube may be able to silence us on their platform, but they will not silence us this November.”

In fact, YouTube has not identified the specific content it found objectionable and did not respond to requests for comment from Delaware Valley Journal. Geer said the only input he had was YouTube’s reference to discussions of the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

Another candidate, Congressman Lou Barletta, tweeted: “Big Tech is absolutely out of line censoring the @PFIpolicy Gubernatorial Forum from YouTube! I was proud to participate in this forum and discuss the important issues facing PA. Just because Big Tech doesn’t agree with our politics does NOT give them the right to silence us!”

Fellow candidate Charlie Gerow, a GOP consultant, said, “YouTube’s cancellation of the PFI Forum for the Republican candidates for governor is an outrage. As soon as they did it I spoke out forcefully against their attack on free speech. Attempting to silence the voices of the Republican candidates is yet another example of the cancel culture that is ripping us apart. We’re fighting back and won’t allow ourselves to be silenced, sidelined, or shut down.”

Greer said his organization filed an appeal with YouTube.

“It is clearly a First Amendment issue,” said Greer. “The First Amendment protects free speech, particularly political speech, and YouTube has “squelched it.”

 

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal