YouTube confirmed it removed a video of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) speaking on the Senate floor and mentioning the alleged impeachment whistleblowers name.
Paul said the move was tantamount to censorship.
“A chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as YouTube decide to censor speech,” Paul wrote on Twitter. “Protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Sen floor, can be blocked from getting to the people. This is dangerous [and] politically biased.”
Ivy Choi, a spokesperson for the Google-owned video-sharing platform, denied that it is censoring Paul, explaining why it chose to blacklist the clip. The firm removed thousands of videos that contained the alleged whistleblowers name.
“Videos, comments, and other forms of content that mention the leaked whistleblowers name violate YouTubes Community Guidelines and will be removed from YouTube,” Choi said to news outlets. “Weve removed hundreds of videos and over ten thousand comments that contained the name. Video uploaders have the option to edit their videos to exclude the name and reupload.”
Paul read aloud the name on the Senate floor during the impeachment trial after U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts declined to a read a question from the junior Kentucky senator. According to reports, the video in question, the clip that YouTube removed involved Paul speaking the alleged name on the Senate floor.
But Paul, in a lengthier statement, added that he doesnt know the identity of the whistleblower and didnt “accuse anyone of being a whistleblower.”
He remarked, “Apparently, YouTube has taken it upon itself to decide what questions can even be asked in the public debate, including on the Senate floor.”
During President Donald Trumps impeachment inquiry and trial, some congressional Republicans had pushed to compel testimony from the whistleblower, former Vice President Joe Biden, and son Hunter Biden. They claimed that Rep. Adam Schiffs (D-Calif.) staffers had contact with the anonymous CIA officer before they submitted their complaint to the intelligence community inspector generals office.
Democrats, however, have said that the whistleblowers testimony is not needed because other witnesses had come forward to testify. And at the time, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), said in November that its important for laws on whistleblowers to be followed.
“All I want to do is make sure the law is followed,” Grassley told reporters, according to The Hill. “A person like me that has advocated for whistleblowers for a long period of time,Read More – Source