YouTube removed a video of incoming Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni elaborating on her conservative vision for the country during a 2019 speech. This was a curious decision that attracted widespread scorn from conservative media outlets, given the recent interest in the philosophy of Meloni, who is expected to become the first woman to lead the country.
After Reason asked YouTube to explain why it took down the video, the social media site reversed course and restored it.
“Upon careful review, we determined this video is not violative of our Community Guidelines and have reinstated it,” says Ivy Choi, a spokesperson for YouTube. “We enforce our policies regardless of the speaker’s political views and when it’s brought to our attention that a video has been mistakenly removed, we review the content and take appropriate action, including restoring the relevant videos or channels—as we have done with this video.”
It’s not clear why the video was flagged in the first place. It’s a recording of a speech made by Meloni at the 2019 World Congress of Families. In her remarks, she pushes back on the idea that her views are fringe or aligned with fascism.
“They said it’s scandalous for people to defend the natural family founded on marriage, to want to increase the birth rate, to want to place the correct value on human life, to support freedom in education, and to say no to gender ideology,” she said.
Meloni’s party, the Brothers of Italy, has been described as far-right and nationalist and is accused of having fascist ties. Her remarks in the 2019 speech, however, were well in keeping with new right political views on subjects like gender, immigration, and abortion.
In any case, people who wish to understand Meloni’s views—even for the purpose of opposing her—should not want to make it harder to discover them. Silencing an argument is not the same thing as winning one.
It’s not clear what happened here, and YouTube can do whatever it wants, but restoring the video was clearly the right move, as no one has articulated a rationale for removing it in the first place.
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