LOS ANGELES — YouTube removed on Wednesday an episode of the “Holly Randall Unfiltered” industry podcast, featuring an interview with Reason magazine senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown debunking myths about sex trafficking spread by anti-sex-work activists, mainstream media and politicians.
YouTube informed Randall that the content was removed due to a supposed violation of its policies against “harmful conspiracy theories.” Randall appealed the removal but YouTube quickly dismissed the appeal, claiming it had reviewed the content carefully and had confirmed the violation.
“We know this is probably disappointing news, but it’s our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all,” the Google-owned platform informed Randall, adding that it would not be putting her content back up on YouTube.
Randall told XBIZ, “I am incredibly disappointed that YouTube decided to remove my interview with Elizabeth Nolan Brown, a respected journalist whom I was so thrilled to have on my show.”
The fact that YouTube claimed that their thoughtful conversation endorsed “harmful conspiracy theories,” Randall noted, “once again demonstrates an anti-sex-work rhetoric that continues to dominate mainstream media.”
YouTube consistently platforms anti-porn, anti-sex-work, pseudoscientific and religious attacks against sex workers and the adult industry without flagging the frequent lack of factuality in those videos. For example, one controversial anti-porn TEDx talk with millions of views continues being shown by YouTube even though it has been widely criticized for its use of scientific language to support the notion of “porn addiction,” and appears above a disclaimer by the TEDx organizers distancing themselves from the content.
The podcast’s description of the episode notes that Nolan “has written extensively on sex trafficking. In this episode she exposes some of the inaccurate statistics being shared on social media, and how hysteria and conspiracy theories have resulted in bogus police busts, racial profiling, and ultimately hurting legitimate sex workers.”
An excerpt from Randall’s censored conversation with Nolan Brown can still be found on the platform here. An audio-only version of the “Holly Randall Unfiltered” episode featuring Nolan Brown can be heard here.
XBIZ has reached out to YouTube/Google for comment.