YouTube Takes Down, Reinstates Video Critical of Biden Afghanistan Withdrawal

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
January 9, 2022 Updated: January 9, 2022

A music video produced by singer John Ondrasik that criticized President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was removed and reinstated by YouTube, highlighting concerns about whether the Google-owned platform is censoring dissenting viewpoints.

“I have just received notification that @YouTube has taken down the ‘Blood on My Hands’ – White House Docu-Music video,” he wrote on Twitter. “Blood on My Hands” received more than 250,000 views on YouTube in five days before it was taken down, he told news outlets.

“Before posting, I placed a ‘Graphic Warning’ disclaimer at the front of the video to let the audience know that the content would not be suitable for younger audiences due to images of Taliban atrocities,” remarked Ondrasik. “YouTube reviewed the video and inserted a child content restriction which I appreciated and found appropriate.”

Last week, YouTube confirmed in a Twitter post that it reinstated the video.

“Following up: this was our mistake & we’ve reinstated your video. So sorry this happened and thanks for being patient while we worked this out,” the company wrote to Ondrasik on the platform.

The exact reason why or how it was taken down is not clear, and The Epoch Times has contacted YouTube for additional comment.

Ondrasik wrote that he accepted YouTube’s apology, although he told Fox News about why the clip was targeted by the Google-owned company.

“The reality that this tends to just happen when artists or people are criticizing one side of the aisle makes it hard to give them that benefit of the doubt,” the Five for Fighting musician told Fox. “But that said, they did the right thing—they addressed it quickly. They reposted it, which I appreciate.”

In addition to graphic scenes that depict Taliban violence, the video also poked fun at Biden, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley

“To not show said Taliban atrocities in any artistic statement on Afghanistan would be a gross injustice to the victims and enable the Taliban’s ongoing persecution of 40 million Afghan citizens,” he also wrote on Twitter. “That YouTube took down the video after 5 days, as it was growing in reach, should concern anyone who values free speech and advocacy for humanitarian causes.”

YouTube’s decision-making around Ondrasik’s video is sure to prompt further criticism of the San Bruno, California-based platform’s policies. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul. (R-Ky.) announced he’s leaving YouTube for Rumble as part of a larger effort to decouple from Big Tech amid recent high-profile bans.

“Many in Congress, on the Left and the Right, want to break up or regulate Big Tech, but few of these loud voices have actually stepped up and quit using Big Tech,” Paul wrote in a recent op-ed. “So today, I announce that I will begin an exodus from Big Tech. I will no longer post videos on YouTube unless it is to criticize them or announce that viewers can see my content on rumble.com.”

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.