Google denies censoring conservative Christian think tank


Google has denied censorship following its closure and later reinstatement of the Iona Institute’s YouTube account.

Attempts to view videos on YouTube by the conservative Christian think tank yesterday were met with a statement that the account had been closed “due to repeated or severe violations of our terms of service”. A Google spokeswoman would not explain what the “repeated violations” were and referred The Irish Times to YouTube’s community guidelines.

David Quinn, director of the Iona Institute, said he had no idea why the account had been blocked, saying he had just received an email with neither explanation nor a contact number. He went on to speculate that the only video that may have caused offence was one arguing against gay marriage and said if this was the reason it amounted to censorship.

“The Case for Man/Woman Marriage” video is an animated series, voiced over by a man and woman, arguing heterosexual and homosexual partnerships are essentially different as “only a man and a woman can make new life”.

A Google spokeswoman said the reason the account had been closed and reinstated had "nothing to do with censorship".

She said the blocking of the Iona account had been because the holder of the account had failed to reply to an email seeking verification of the identity account owner.

Mr Quinn said he accepted the explanation, explaining he had not had time to reply to an email from YouTube which had been in response to one he had sent.*

* This article was edited on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013.