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YouTube Censors U.S. Senate Candidate Chelsea Manning’s First Campaign Commercial


YouTube has censored an election advertisement issued by U.S. Senate candidate Chelsea Manning.

The video-sharing website owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, labelled Manning’s first campaign ad with an “inappropriate” tag which resulted in age-specific click-through restrictions being placed on the video.

According to a screenshot obtained by PinkNews, Manning’s first campaign advertisement now features black-backgrounded “shrink wrap” which reads, “This video may be inappropriate for some users.”

If a potential viewer wishes to access the contents of Manning’s campaign advertisement they are now forced to click a button reading, “I UNDERSTAND AND WISH TO CONTINUE”–after wading through the somewhat ominous official warning, of course.

It is not immediately clear why Manning’s video was tagged as “inappropriate” by YouTube’s censorship staff. It is also not clear if the warning is location-specific or if the tag is only visible to select users–such as those in the United Kingdom where PinkNews is located. Some YouTube users have been able to access the video without viewing the warning screen beforehand.

The full text of Manning’s campaign advertisement reads:

I’m Chelsea Manning and I approve this message. We live in trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, hate. We don’t need more or better leaders, we need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise. 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. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore, we can do better. You’re damn right we got this.

Law&Crime reached out to YouTube’s press office for comment on this story, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.

Manning filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission last Thursday. After reports of the filing made their way across the internet over the weekend, Manning announced that she intended to challenge septuagenarian U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in the Democratic primary.

Manning, a former soldier and whistleblower, was imprisoned for seven years over the release of multiple files related to war crimes committed during the Iraq and Afghan wars by U.S. forces and their allies. Manning’s 35-year sentence was commuted to time-served by President Barack Obama in 2016.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher

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