News & Politics

YouTube Removes Videos of Trump's CPAC Speech, Suspends RSBN

AP Photo/John Raoux

During his historic speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Sunday, former President Donald Trump claimed that substantial election fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 election. When Right Side Broadcasting Network (RSBN) uploaded a video of Trump’s remarks on YouTube, the platform removed that video and suspended RSBN’s YouTube account. It remains unclear whether the platform has removed other videos of Trump’s speech.

“RSBN has been suspended from YouTube for two weeks because of the Trump [CPAC] speech, which violated their guidelines on election misinformation,” RSBN announced on Twitter Thursday. “The video was approaching 4 million views. They have also removed it from their platform.”

RSBN, a conservative media company founded in July 2015, became known for live-stream coverage of Trump’s rallies on YouTube. In December 2020, it began uploading videos to the alternative video streaming service Rumble. RSBN covered many legal hearings alleging fraud in the 2020 election, streamed Trump’s January 6 speech before the Capitol riot, and reached almost 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube in January.

RSBN later claimed that “even some of the major [news] networks had their video of Trump’s speech removed, though it is not clear if they also received a two week suspension and/or strike on their accounts like we did. Doubt it.”

RSBN YouTube Trump speech
Twitter screenshot.

YouTube neither confirmed nor denied claims that it had removed videos of Trump’s speech from other channels.

“We enforce our Community Guidelines consistently, regardless of speaker or political leaning,” a spokesperson told PJ Media on Thursday. “In accordance with our established presidential election integrity policy, which prohibits content uploaded after the safe harbor deadline claiming widespread fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, we removed this video from Right Side Broadcasting Network.”

“Content featuring footage from CPAC 2021 that does not violate our policies or contains sufficient educational, documentary, scientific and artistic context remains on YouTube,” the YouTube spokesperson added.

A search for videos of Trump’s CPAC speech on YouTube brings up videos with small snippets of the former president’s speech but does not bring up any videos of the entire remarks. Videos of Trump’s entire remarks from previous CPAC speeches remain on the platform, however.

YouTube results Trump 2021 CPAC speech
YouTube screenshot.

It strains credulity to think that no other YouTube channel posted a video of Trump’s full CPAC remarks or his remarks on the 2020 election. If YouTube removed such videos, or convinced other channels to remove them, did it also penalize other channels with a 2-week suspension? As RSBN put it, that seems unlikely.

The American Conservative Union, the organization behind CPAC, did not respond to PJ Media’s request for comment.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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