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Thursday, August 31, 2017

YouTube May Be Trying to Suppress Conservative Artists

Lifezette: Singers Kaya Jones and Joy Villa are in the midst of a fierce culture war — 'this is not an accident'


America is a country built on freedom of speech and expression. We are meant to accept and challenge each other — rather than to draw lines in the sand and attempt to ban the opinions of others.
Yet somehow we live in a time when outspoken liberal Robert De Niro can find work left and right, but two-time Academy Award-nominated actor James Woods has admitted to being on a “blacklist” in the Hollywood community because he holds conservative political opinions.
There's plenty more proof of the existence of that blacklist — and the fact that it suppresses or outright bans artistic voices merely because these people have political opinions that differ from those of most of Hollywood's creative forces.
To move beyond individual politics, we now have theaters banning historically important films for fear of being "insensitive" — the same sort of logic used to ban books that can be important to America's youth and the growth of our kids as human beings.
Enter Joy Villa and Kaya Jones now. Both musicians have become more and more outspoken this year about their support for President Donald Trump — a position that is clearly becoming increasingly dangerous for an artist to have. Villa and Jones are realizing that, as both are facing what could quite possibly be very real attempts at censorship by YouTube.
Villa received a cease-and-desist letter from the video-hosting giant three weeks after she posted her music video for her latest song, "Make America Great Again." Despite the name of her song, the tune is not political. It is instead a call for people of all beliefs and backgrounds to come together. The video shows a variety of people smiling at a camera — and YouTube claimed one of these people complained about the use of the face in the video.

Upon receipt of the letter, Villa responded she had written agreements from each and every person in the video. YouTube did not care and refused to let her make her case. The video was set to "private," and Villa was forced to recut. She has not heard from YouTube about her latest version of the music video.
Villa told LifeZette in an interview on Tuesday that she was originally going to remain quiet about the struggles with YouTube. Though her experiences raised some red flags, she said she felt embarrassed and even guilty — despite being in the right. It wasn't until she talked to Kaya Jones that she decided to question YouTube publicly.
Jones has a new music video out as well, for a song entitled "What the Heart Don't Know." It's a quiet and moving song about the sacrifices of the men and women in uniform and their loved ones. It's even less political than Villa's video.
The music video was quite successful when first released. It was "getting anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 [views] per day," according to Jones. However, she became nervous when the view count on the video stalled and began sporadically moving downward — without explanation — after only two days.


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