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OPINION

YouTube Banned Me, But Not the Hate Imams

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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One of the many maddening takeaways from the London Bridge jihad attack is this: If you post videos on YouTube radicalizing Muslim viewers to kill innocent people, YouTube will leave you alone.

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But if you post a video on YouTube honoring innocent people murdered by barbaric jihadists, your video will get banned.

I know. It happened to me in 2006. Eleven years later, the selective censors at Google-YouTube still can't competently distinguish terrorist hate speech from political free speech. Islamic hate preachers such as Ahmad Musa Jibril, whose bloodthirsty rants against non-Muslims reportedly inspired the London Bridge ringleader, have flourished.

Meanwhile, other anti-jihad and conservative content creators have been throttled, flagged, demonetized and kicked off the site since the P.C. hammer first came down on me.

My two-minute clip, which I titled "First, They Came," spotlighted authors, editors, politicians, and other targets of Islamic intolerance and violence. Among those featured in the video on radical Islam's war on Western free speech: Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker murdered by jihadist Mohammed Bouyeri for his outspoken criticism of Muslim misogyny; Salman Rushdie, whom the Ayatollah Khomeini cast a fatwa upon after he published the "blasphemous" "The Satanic Verses"; Oriana Fallaci, the fiery journalist put on trial in Italy for "defaming Islam;" and the editors of the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper, who faced death threats for publishing cartoons of Mohammed, which prompted violent riots and terror plots around the world.

I contrasted the plight of those killed with the hordes of Muslim protesters in London's safe spaces fearlessly waving their signs demanding that the faithful "Behead all those who insult Islam" and "Exterminate those who slander Islam."

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Several months later, YouTube yanked the innocuous, harmless, nonviolent, nonprofane, nonhateful, and nonthreatening mini-film. The company informed me that the video contained "inappropriate content." I complained across social media -- posting additional YouTube videos calling attention to the ban. But "First, They Came" stayed deep-sixed on my YouTube channel. Other bloggers and video consumers tried to subvert the censors by posting the clip on their sites; it became a game of whack-a-mole as the YouTube police hunted it down.

Counterjihad activists nicknamed YouTube "JihadTube" or "Dhimmitube" to mock the censors' acquiescence to Islamist restrictions on acceptable speech by infidels -- as Islamic radicalization videos festered on the site.

Three pieces in The New York Times covered my skirmish over the little video. Reporter Tom Zeller Jr. reported that YouTube had emailed him a statement suggesting that my video "violated the company's terms of service." YouTube also told the newspaper, "Our customer support team reviews all flagged videos before removing them."

The statement "specifically referred to the part of the YouTube user agreement that forbids users from submitting material that is 'unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate.'"

George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen wrote in a New York Times magazine article on "Google's Gatekeepers" that he "watched the 'First, They Came' video, which struck me as powerful political commentary that contains neither hate speech nor graphic violence, and I asked why it was taken down. According to a YouTube spokesman, the takedown was a routine one that hadn't been reviewed by higher-ups."

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Only after receiving fair exposure in The New York Times (my, how times and the Times have changed) did the video magically reappear on my channel.

Now, contrast Google/YouTube's ridiculous stifling of "First, They Came" with its hands-off treatment of murder-inciting videos of hate imams Ahmad Musa Jibril and Abu Haleema.

Their rancid rants encouraging jihad by the sword and murder of non-Muslims have racked up millions of views over the past five years. Millions. Counterterrorism officials in multiple countries have tied their social media poison to jihad plots. The company told Conservative Review's Jordan Schachtel that it had reviewed the hate imams' channels and "found that they do not violate YouTube's guidelines on extremist or hateful content."

The enlightened peace-and-love progressives of Silicon Valley don't just have egg on their faces. They have blood on their hands.

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