By Sam Dorman
Published June 26, 2019
YouTube encountered a wave of backlash Wedensday when it claimed it acted without political bias while enforcing its policies, with many on the right accusing the video giant of censoring conservative content and creators.
"We've had a lot of questions today...clarifying, we apply our policies fairly and without political bias. All creators are held to the same standard," the company tweeted from its account for press updates.
That tweet received so much pushback that some noted the ratio of responses to retweets and likes -- generally considered an indicator of how much support or opposition a tweet encountered.
Amid the thousands of responses, many on Twitter accused the company of flat-out lying about not applying political bias.
On Tuesday, the company faced renewed scrutiny as a document surfaced showing an employee of Google, YouTube's parent company, accusing conservative author Ben Shapiro and others of being Nazis.
That appeared to prompt Wednesday's tweet from the company, although it has long faced accusations of bias from a number of conservative organizations.
Controversy swirled around the company in June as YouTube appeared to reverse its decision not to punish conservative comedian Steven Crowder for his comments about a journalist at Vox. It later demonetized his videos and accused Crowder of harming the broader YouTube community, even though he didn't technically violate its community guidelines.
On Wednesday, Lila Rose of the pro-life organization Live Action responded to the company's tweet by saying the platform buried her group's videos after receiving complaints about its content.
Radio host Dennis Prager, who runs Prager University, similarly accused YouTube of censoring his content. "If it is pro-America, if it's pro-Israel, if it is pro-religion, it is likely to be censored by Google or YouTube," Prager told Fox News on Wednesday.
The tweet came as politicians focused their attention on a series of tech giants -- including Twitter and Facebook -- alleging they either censored conservatives or needed to be broken up in order to weaken their economic power.
President Trump spoke on the issue in May after Facebook banned right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and others from its platform.
"I am continuing to monitor the censorship of AMERICAN CITIZENS on social media platforms," he tweeted. "This is the United States of America — and we have what’s known as FREEDOM OF SPEECH! We are monitoring and watching, closely!!"