YouTube removed a video in which Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) named the alleged whistleblower who raised the alarm about President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine, leading to his impeachment, according to The Hill.
Additionally, YouTube has made it clear it will remove all "videos, comments, and other forms of content that mention the leaked whistleblower's name" because they violate the site's community guidelines. A company spokesperson said hundreds of videos and tens of thousands of violating comments have already been removed.
Paul has repeatedly attempted to publicize the identity of the alleged whistleblower, believed to be CIA analyst and former National Security Council aide Eric Ciaramella. During the impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts refused to read a question containing Ciaramella's name.
Paul accused YouTube of censorship, and noted that while he mentioned Ciaramella's name, he didn't specifically call him the whistleblower.
"It is a chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as YouTube decide to censure speech," Paul told Politico. "Now, even protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Senate floor, can be blocked from getting to the American people. This is dangerous and politically biased. Nowhere in my speech did I accuse anyone of being a whistleblower, nor do I know the whistleblower's identity."
Most mainstream media outlets have refused to name Ciaramella, although the specific refusals of officials to mention the name logically point to the likelihood that he is indeed the anonymous whistleblower.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) refused to allow impeachment witnesses to answer questions that even pointed in the direction of referring to Ciaramella, creating an almost comical scenario in which Schiff actively concealed the whistleblower's identity while simultaneously claiming not to know his identity.
Mentions of Ciaramella's name have not been allowed in congressional hearings, even when they do not allude to him as the whistleblower.