YouTube removes Missouri candidate’s campaign ad for violating community guidelines

·2 min read
Susan Pfannmuller/Special to The Star

YouTube has removed Missouri Rep. Billy Long’s new U.S. Senate campaign ad, saying it violated the site’s community guidelines.

In the ad, which was posted last week, Long repeated the inaccurate claim that President Joe Biden “stole” the 2020 presidential election.

“I’m running for Senate to stop the insanity, stop the wokeness and stop the Democrats from stealing another election,” Long, a Springfield Republican, said in the ad.

There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, and all legal challenges brought by the campaign of President Donald Trump and its allies were dismissed.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, Long blamed “Big Tech” for removing his ad and accused them of silencing conservatives.

“This behavior by YouTube is un-American and straight from the communist playbook,” Long said. “Removing my ad proves my point that Big Tech certainly has and will continue to influence elections.”

YouTube’s community guidelines prohibit misinformation about election integrity, defined as “content that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors, or glitches changed the outcome of select past national elections, after final election results are officially certified.”

“We enforce our community guidelines equally... and removed the video you shared with us in accordance with our election integrity policy,” said Ivy Choi, a spokeswoman for YouTube.

The Missouri U.S. Senate race contains a crowded field of Republicans, including Attorney General Eric Schmitt, former Gov. Eric Greitens and Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzler. While all the candidates have talked about their support of Trump and his policies, Long has gone out of his way to tout his ties with the former president, and he hired former Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as a political adviser.

Long has also been vocal about his opposition to Biden. He voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election results in Arizona and Pennsylvania. In an email to constituents last week, Long called Biden’s 2021 inauguration “a day that will live in infamy,” parroting former President Franklin Roosevelt’s speech after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Long isn’t the first member of Congress to have a video removed from YouTube. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was suspended by YouTube for a week after he twice posted a video that the site said contained misinformation about COVID-19.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s first name.