Family

YouTube’s Silencing of LifeSite is Chilling Example of Censorship

Just weeks after the social media giant Twitter blocked Focus on the Family’s Twitter account, it was announced earlier this week that YouTube had banned and removed all videos from LifeSite News, one of the internet’s most popular venues for pro-life information.

Their offense?

A spokesperson for YouTube suggested the pro-life site violated its COVID-19 misinformation policy.

“In accordance with our long-standing strikes system, we terminated the channel LifeSite News Media for repeatedly violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content that promotes prevention methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO,” the spokesperson said.

While it’s not exactly clear what video or videos violated the website rules, LifeSite had most recently shared concerns about the use of the cells of pre-born babies in certain COVID-19 vaccines.

YouTube remains a powerhouse in online video distribution, claiming over 2 billion users who reportedly consume 1 billion hours of video on the platform each and every day.

But there’s now less pro-life content on the site, and LifeSite’s 300,000 subscribers will be forced to find the organization’s content elsewhere.

Censorship has been traditionally decried by a diverse body of people, liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat. But no more. In recent weeks, Big Tech has grown increasingly aggressive, shutting down voices and outlets that don’t comport with their ideological point of view.

Free speech may be an historical hallmark of American democracy, but the opposite has long been the mark of totalitarian and autocratic regimes who aggressively control expression.

Speaking before Congress in 1950, President Harry Truman warned:

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

The titans of Big Tech are, indeed, striking and seeding fear in far too many people today. With their massive megaphones, many individuals and organizations have come to rely on their particular platforms. So, in order to stay in their good graces, they either remain silent on controversial subjects or risk editing themselves to a point of irrelevance or incoherence.

What can we do about it?

For those of us who hold to positions that may now seem outside a conventional worldview, it seems circumstances are calling us to develop our own independent platforms.  I would certainly encourage you to consider using sites that do not censor conservatives.

In many ways, the times we find ourselves in are not unlike the days of the early Christian Church. Back then, the vast majority of those in power found Jesus’ perspective unsettling – even irritating and threatening. 

How did Jesus respond? He didn’t go out of His way to poke or insult them, but instead was straightforward and resolute. The ruling class of the first century accused Jesus and His apostles of bringing forth “strange ideas” – which, when compared to the ways of the Roman empire, was an accurate description.

Yet, within a few hundred years, Christianity was everywhere. 

I lament the growing casualties of this current censorship movement, especially since I think it will likely get worse before it gets better.

But you can ban, block, censor, edit and delete all you want – but try as you may, the Gospel will never be stopped.

Photo from AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com

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