Noted corporate joy-sucker YouTube sucked a little bit of the joy out of Chelsea Manning’s Senate campaign with a questionable decision that a lot of people found wrong.
Manning, who served seven years in military prison for leaking classified documents detailing a bunch of horrible stuff the United States was doing in other countries, formally announced her candidacy on Sunday with a minute-long video posted to YouTube.
The whistleblower, who is seeking to unseat Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland in this fall’s elections, offers viewers a message that emphasizes fundamental change over gradual reform. “We don’t need more or better leaders. We need someone to fight,” Manning says in the clip. “We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reins of power from them. We need to challenge them at every level.”
“You’re damn right we got this,” she says in closing, referencing what’s become a kind of tagline for her on Twitter.
Hundreds of thousands of people have seen the video, but it appears that YouTube is trying to slow Chelsea’s roll. By Tuesday, DAZED reports, Manning’s campaign video was labeled “inappropriate for some users” and had an age restriction placed on it.
This is strange, Dazed notes, as the video doesn’t contain any violence, nudity, or any of the other kinds of content YouTube community guidelines list as inappropriate. Is it transphobic? That’s what Michael Love Michael of Paper magazine suggests, noting that Youtube has a “suspect history of censoring LGBTQ content.”
But honestly? I think it makes perfect sense for YouTube to try to censor or restrict Chelsea’s campaign video. I mean, YouTube is owned by Google. Well, technically Alphabet, Inc., but no one calls it that. Google is one of the top corporate lobbyists in the country, spending millions on their attempts to influence privacy and antitrust law. Do you think they want Chelsea Manning, someone who’s kinda known for not compromising her morals no matter what, on the other end of their phone calls?
I’ve reached out to YouTube for clarification on why they restricted Manning’s campaign video and how the whole process works. I’ll update the story if I hear back.