Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams made waves with his “deportation bus” ad, and for several hours, YouTube had taken the video down for violating its hate speech policy before later putting it back up, The Hill reported.
“They are doing everything they can to keep our message from reaching voters with the truth,” Williams said in a statement Wednesday. “They will not silence me nor our movement.”
What’s the story?
Williams is running for governor, and his campaign created an advertisement promoting a “deportation bus tour” to Georgia’s sanctuary cities, during which Williams said he would “fill this bus with illegals to send them back to where they came from.”
Some viewers were offended by the ad, especially by messages on the bus windows, such as “follow me to Mexico,” “murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molesters, and other criminals on board.”
YouTube removed the video, putting in its place a message that it was taken down “for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech,” but returned to the site without explanation later in the afternoon.
YouTube’s policy on “hateful content” says the site will not “support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status or sexual orientation/gender identity, or whose primary purpose is inciting hatred on the basis of these core characteristics. This can be a delicate balancing act, but if the primary purpose is to attack a protected group, the content crosses the line.”
A YouTube spokesperson told Fox News that they sometimes “make the wrong call on content that is flagged by our community” due to the “massive volume of videos.”
Not the first controversy
Brian Kemp, another Republican candidate for governor in Georgia, offended some viewers with his advertisement that featured him holding a gun in what some felt was a threatening or menacing manner while talking to a young man about dating his daughter.
Local news stations were flooded with complaints about that ad, but are prohibited from censoring political advertising from legally qualified candidates by the Federal Communications Commission.