A Singaporean YouTuber currently living in the U.S. has had his YouTube channel removed for being pro-pedophilia.
Amos Yee had about 40,000 subscribers on YouTube and was known for his videos criticizing the Singaporean government as well as frequent screeds against Islam and Christianity. Now, YouTube says his channel, Brain and Butter, has been terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Yee believes this is likely because of videos he posted in support of pedophilia.
In fact, he’s posted to his website text from studies which he claims supports the notion that sex between adults and children isn’t harmful, and that people far younger than 18 have the ability to consent to sexual behavior. And, making those arguments on YouTube is in clear violation of their policy against child endangerment, though similar videos are still active on Facebook.
Of course, this should kind of go without saying, but child sexual abuse is very bad and can have devastating effects on children throughout their whole lives. And, YouTube is a private enterprise, so they have every right to shut down a channel that’s defending pedophilia — just in case anyone was thinking about trying to bring the First Amendment into this.
The move to remove Yee’s channel likely arose from complaints from major advertisers that their ads had appeared on his videos, including one titled “Pedophilia is Life”.
Yee first arrived in the U.S. in December 2017 and was granted asylum after it was determined that he had a significant fear of persecution if he returned to Singapore. The tiny island nation off the coast of Malaysia has very strict public speech laws, and Yee was previously imprisoned in 2015 and 2016 for videos criticizing the government and religion. Now, even though Amos says those YouTube videos were his primary source of income, he doesn’t seem too worried. He claims to have just been endorsed by NAMBLA, though he jokingly adds: “This recognition will surely be excellent in my resume when I apply for a job.”
YouTube has been in some free speech debates in the past, but nobody is really taking Yee’s side in all this, though commentator and free speech advocate Matt Jarbo admitted his struggle to defend Yee’s right to post such content.
What do you guys think? Should Amos Yee have an absolute right to post content defending something as awful as child sexual abuse? Let us know in the comments.
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