YouTube removes, then reinstates video of John Ondrasik criticizing Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan
The video, which used real-world footage illustrating atrocities committed by the Taliban and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, was reportedly flagged as violating YouTube’s “graphics content policy.”
In a statement on Twitter, Ondrasik, also known by his stage name Five For Fighting, said it posted the video Jan. 2 on YouTube and other social media channels.
The video was associated with “a ‘graphic warning’ at the start of the video to advise the audience that the content would not be suitable for a younger audience due to footage of Taliban atrocities.”
âYouTube reviewed the video and put in a restriction on children’s content which I enjoyed and found appropriate,â he continued.
Ondrasik said that the video remained live for five days, capturing over 250,000 views.
The musician, known for hits like “100 Years” and “Superman,” said refusing to portray Taliban human rights abuses and events during the US withdrawal was a “grave injustice” to the victims.
Additionally, Ondrasik noted that he had discovered that other videos depicting “Taliban-like atrocities”, but those that were monetized by the video platform, remained live.
About nine hours after the songwriter tweeted that his video had been deleted, YouTube reinstated it. The platform added a warning that the video may be “inappropriate or offensive to certain audiences.”
âIt was our mistake and we restored your video. I’m sorry that happened and thanks for being patient while we worked on this,â the YouTube team said on Twitter, followed by an emoji. of prayer hands.
FOX Business was unable to immediately contact YouTube to find out why the platform initially removed the video.
The five for the fighting musician accepted YouTube apologizes on Twitter, but told FOX Business he still wonders why his video was being targeted.
âThe reality that this tends to only happen when artists or people criticize one side of the aisle makes it difficult to give them that benefit of the doubt,â he said. “But that said, they did the right thing – they dealt with it quickly. They reposted it, which I appreciate.”
“I am thinking of artists who may not have a platform similar to mine,” he added, noting that his 2 million followers on YouTube may have motivated the platform to take action. quickly on the matter.
âI was also thinking about the protest songs from the 60s and 70s,â Ondrasik told FOX Business. “Imagine there was a dynamic where Creedence Clearwater Revival or Bob Dylan could see their songs all but eliminated from the culture.”
âIt’s a scary thought for me,â he said.
The withdrawal caught the attention of not only fans of the nearly seven-minute video, but members of Congress as well.
“It is absolutely ridiculous that YouTube removed the video of John Ondrasik describing the real events of the horrific withdrawal of POTUS from Afghanistan,” Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, wrote on Twitter. “Americans deserve to see the consequences of POTUS ‘decisions. YouTube should put video back into service.”
Ondrasik thanked the congressman and tweeted his YouTube post and President Biden.