The Rebel News, a leading source of conservative news and commentary in Canada, was suspended for one week by Google-owned YouTube, its primary platform, over a three-month-old video about social media censorship of President Donald Trump.
YouTube is the platform that Rebel News, primarily known for its video content, has relied on the most since its founding.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Rebel News founder Ezra Levant suggested YouTube may be facing political pressure from the liberal government of Justin Trudeau, which has been threatening tech regulation to prevent social media platforms from hosting “hurtful” political content.
The video that YouTube took down is three months old. Its primary topic is social media censorship of President Trump.
“YouTube claims that our video violated the rule against election misinformation, which is defined as content that ‘advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of any past U.S. presidential election,” said Levant.
“Our video didn’t even discuss those issues — it solely discussed censorship of Donald Trump from social media. We made reference to a Trump Twitter video that may, itself, violate that policy, but we referred to that Trump video as an artefact that was being censored — we did not champion Trump’s point of view itself. We talked about how it was being censored. That same Trump video is on dozens of YouTube news channels including CNN, ABC, and the Wall Street Journal.”
“I note that the Canadian election is looming, and Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have clearly called for social media companies to censor what they describe as “hurtful” political content. There is enormous pressure from Trudeau on social media companies. In fact, it is literally the second priority in the mandate letter.”
Rebel News was recently subjected to a study, funded by intelligence agencies in the U.S and Canada, on the topic of “Cyber Elections Forensics,” accusing Rebel News of being an “influence operation.” The word “influence operation,” including “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” is commonly used as a pretext by social media platforms to censor populists around the world, including in Brazil, France, and Italy.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.