September 2nd, 2009 | Contact: 323.454.3304, [email protected]
LOS ANGELES – YouTube, the popular Internet-video website, blocked four videos from the pro-life student organization Live Action over the past two weeks, saying that the videos contained “inappropriate content”. YouTube gave neither advance warning nor specific reasons for why the videos were removed, and has not responded to Live Action’s request to cease censorship and to unblock the videos for public viewing.
The videos include phone recordings of Planned Parenthood employees agreeing to process donations from a caller with a racist agenda (http://www.liveactionfilms.org/youtube). Earlier this year, the YouTube videos sparked national media interest, with TV, print and radio outlets reporting on the content, and some networks, like Fox News, broadcasting parts of the videos. Live Action Media Director David Schmidt said, “These four videos have received over 160,000 YouTube views with the oldest video having been public on YouTube for over seven months. Why are these videos being removed now?”
YouTube has censored videos from pro-life organizations in the past, as recently as this year. In February, an American Life League video criticizing a Planned Parenthood TV advertisement was removed from the site due to its “inappropriate nature,” though the original Planned Parenthood advertisement remained on YouTube. In July, a short film by the pro-life Population Research Institute highlighting dishonest reporting from a pro-choice filmmaker was censored. YouTube eventually responded to criticism and restored both videos.
“It is discriminatory for YouTube to selectively censor material that clearly does not contain inappropriate content,” states Live Action President Lila Rose. “We will continue to apply pressure on YouTube until it restores the videos.”
She points out that Live Action has compiled a compelling case of evidence on its website, LiveAction.org, documenting how YouTube has selectively censored conservative groups. People can also view the banned videos on Live Action’s website and learn how to help petition YouTube to restore the videos.
To learn more, visit: http://liveaction.org/youtube