Issa: Google, YouTube ‘Censored Me,’ Is Silencing Conservatives

Issa: Google, YouTube 'Censored Me,' Is Silencing Conservatives Rep. Darrell Issa speaks into a microphone. Rep. Darrell Issa speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee On Foreign Affairs on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on March 10. (Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 10 November 2021 07:48 AM

Rep. Darrell Issa is slamming YouTube and its parent company, Google, and accusing them of unfairly censoring conservatives' rights to freedom of speech after the site removed the video of an address he gave earlier this year and cited claims that it violated rules against anti-vaccine misinformation.

"Google and YouTube have censored me!" the California Republican said Tuesday on Twitter in the first of a series of tweets, adding that "Big Tech will stop at nothing to silence conservatives."

In subsequent tweets, the congressman said that "Google and YouTube didn’t even pretend to fact check what I said. They just want to shut down free speech."

He explained in a third tweet that "in my now-censored speech, I pointed out that Russia’s vaccine program was inferior to Operation Warp Speed. And the Russians repeatedly exaggerated their vaccine’s effectiveness every time another country launched a better one. Is any free speech on vaccines allowed?"

Issa told Fox News that the video was of a speech he gave back in July and that the only reference he'd made to vaccines was to discuss the superiority of the COVID-19 vaccines used in America over Russia's "Sputnik" vaccine.

The Russian vaccine is not on the United States' accepted list for travelers entering the country, as only vaccines authorized by U.S. agencies or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization are allowed, reports The New York Times.

Issa said YouTube's decision to censor his video shows how the company uses its algorithms against conservatives.

"The fact that they're sort of calling me a vaccine-denier when I'm talking about our product being better than a product from a country that didn't have third-party review is a pretty amazing level of scrutiny, and I think it shows just how much they're making decisions based on who says something, not what they say," Issa told Fox News.

Meanwhile, the congressman told Breitbart that his speech was to government employees and tech executives concerning open access to data and that he'd only made a brief reference to the coronavirus vaccines.

“What was amazing is that it wasn't what I said. It was who said it,” Issa said to the outlet.

"As I was talking about technology and our role and so on, I brought up the example of how Sputnik, in the case of the vaccine, arrived first, but was not as good as America, where we came into the space race and had to catch up, but we not only caught up, we produced superior products," Issa said.

The congressman added that people like Dr. Anthony Fauci and others who aren't conservatives don't get censored for similar comments, and he considers YouTube's actions to be a violation of his free speech rights.

"They don’t get taken down for saying the same thing that, by the way, happens to be true," Issa said. "It doesn’t have to be true, to be protected by free speech. And so, you know, we have to protect free speech, which we’re not doing until we stop the censoring of speech that we disagree with, that might be untrue."

Issa further said he didn't question the American vaccines and asked why YouTube would remove his comments under claims the video spread medical misinformation.

"I [was] speaking in a way in which I was not disparaging American vaccines," he told Breitbart. "I was not inaccurate, and yet I was taken down. And in some ways, it’s the best example of taking someone down because of who they are, not because of what they said.”