YouTube Censors Billy Reverend




Reverend Billy Talen recently faced censorship at the hands of YouTube. Reverend Billy is the leader of the New York-based activist performance group "The Church of Life After Shopping," which protests against large corporations and mass media, and for social justice. Two of his "Freak Storm" sermon videos on the Reverend Billy YouTube channel were inexplicably deleted by YouTube in mid-February. 

The sermons, taped and directed by Laura Newman, were made shortly after Hurricane Sandy's landfall this past October. In these sermons, Talen expresses the belief that climate change is directly linked to investments made by big banks, such as JP Morgan Chase.

According to their "terms of use," YouTube is not obligated to provide a reason for the deletion of these videos. The deleted videos were replaced by an announcement that a violation of terms led to the video's deletion, before the video disappeared completely. The company's headquarters in San Bruno, California were contacted, but there has been no response.

Reverend Billy Talen has been successful on YouTube, with as many as 250,000 views. The church has asked its friends from Facebook and YouTube to contact them directly so that they can bypass the corporate social networks. In the past two weeks since the videos' deletion, over 500 people have entered a "direct relationship" with the church.

You can view the deleted sermons, "Sandylujah!" and "Shit the Rich" on Vimeo, as well as the church's homepage, Revbilly.com 



Image by IsaacMao, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.