YouTube Censors Heritage Foundation Video Featuring Former Transgender, Claims It Violates ‘Hate Speech’ Policy

Walt Heyer
Alliance Defending Freedom/YouTube

YouTube has censored a Heritage Foundation video featuring the testimony of a former transgender individual who participated in a panel titled “Summit on Protecting Children from Sexualization” last October. YouTube, in an email to the Federalist, claimed that the video violated the company’s policy on hate speech.

Federalist contributor Walt Heyer, who underwent sex change surgery and lived as woman for eight years before detransitioning over 25 years ago, spoke at the panel last year, explaining that his decision was a mistake.

“I stand before you with a mutilated body, with a life that was destroyed in many ways, redeemed by Christ certainly, but destroyed because I was affirmed and told how cute I look, how wonderful it was and went to a gender therapist who said, ‘All you need to do is have hormones and reassignment surgery,” he said in the video censored by YouTube, which confirmed the censorship in an email to the Federalist — the outlet that this week faced threats of demonetization from Google due to “policy violations” in its comments section.

“Our hate speech policy prohibits videos which assert that someone’s sexuality or gender identity is a disease or a mental illness. We quickly remove videos violating our policies when flagged by our users,” the company stated, referencing its hate speech policy, which bars content that promotes “violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on age, nationality, race, religion, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, and more.

According to the Federalist, the company “also pointed to Heyer’s claim in the original video that individuals are ‘not born transgender. This is a childhood developmental disorder, that adults are perpetrating on our young people today, and our schools are complicit in this.'”

The Federalist reported:

Heritage appealed YouTube’s decision. In a phone conversation with Google and YouTube representatives, Heritage Director Emilie Kao argued Heyer’s definition of gender dysphoria was consistent with the definition provided by the DSM-V.

In a statement to The Federalist, Kao said, “There are plenty of YouTube videos on this topic that address gender dysphoria as the American Psychological Association does, which is to classify it as a mental disorder.”

“But,” she added, “YouTube has decided, under the guise of ‘hate speech,’ to censor the viewpoint that it doesn’t like. This won’t help children and families struggling with this disorder who want information from both sides of the debate.”

“Rather than engage in nuanced, good-faith discussions with people who have experienced gender dysphoria, YouTube wants to censor any viewpoint it doesn’t like—even if advocates of transgender ideology say the exact same banned phrase in other videos,” Heritage Vice President Rob Bluey said, deeming YouTube’s decision “another illustration of how the left will stop at nothing to silence conservative voices on sensitive topics like gender dysphoria.”

The Heritage Foundation, which has received donations from Google, uploaded another video of Heyer’s remarks, focused on YouTube’s censorship of the original video.

“YouTube will not allow you to hear six words uttered by me, Walt Heyer, a former transgender identifying person. I said that children suffering from gender dysphoria should not be encouraged to try experimental hormones in surgery and I stand by that statement,” Heyer states in the new video:

The Heritage Foundation released a statement ahead of the White House’s Social Media Summit last summer, “attacking alleged ‘heavy-handed’ technology regulations while suggesting that the social media companies ‘are responding’ to the question of censorship of conservative and alternative voices on the Internet,” as Breitbart News reported:

Robert Bluey, the vice president of communications and executive director of the Heritage Foundation’s the Daily Signal, decried “heavy-handed government regulation.”

The Heritage Foundation provided a statement to Breitbart News regarding the organization’s donations from Google, whether Google’s donations to the foundation skews its policies against regulating tech companies, and whether the Heritage Foundation can be viewed as credible given this relationship.

Bluey added, suggesting “there’s evidence the market is working and social media companies are responding.”

The Heritage Foundation also released a defensive letter in December after Fox News’s Tucker Carlson blasted it for defending Big Tech.

YouTube’s move coincides with Monday’s Supreme Court decision redefining the 1964 workplace sex discrimination law “to cover ‘transgender’ people who claim to have changed their sex.”

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