State Watch

GOP candidate’s ‘Deportation Bus’ ad briefly removed from YouTube for violating ‘hate speech’ policy

An advertisement for a Georgia GOP gubernatorial candidate’s campaign was temporarily taken down from YouTube for a violation of the platform’s hate speech policy.

The campaign for Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams on Tuesday shared a video promoting Williams’s “Deportation Bus Tour” to the state’s “sanctuary cities” to promote his pro-deportation policies. 

In the video, Williams touts his plan to “fill this bus with illegals to send them back to where they came from.” Sanctuary cities offer protection to immigrants in the country illegally and refuse to fully enforce federal immigration laws.

The windows on the bus read “Follow me to Mexico” and “Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, child molestors [sic], and other criminals on board.”

On Wednesday morning, the ad had been replaced with a message from YouTube that the video “has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on hate speech.” By 2 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, the video had been put back up. 

The Hill has reached out to Williams’s campaign and to YouTube for comment on the decision to put the video back online.

{mosads}Williams criticized the removal of the video in a statement, calling YouTube “the latest liberal California company stifling conservative free speech to appease the hard-left.”

“They are doing everything they can to keep our message from reaching voters with the truth,” Williams said of YouTube. “They will not silence me nor our movement.”

Williams reiterated his support for “anti-illegal” laws in the statement.

“When I am governor, Georgia will have the toughest anti-illegal alien laws in the nation. Period,” he said. “Perhaps YouTube’s executives would like to move their families into an area that has been destroyed by illegals. It might give them perspective.”

The video was also posted on Facebook and Twitter as of Wednesday morning.

Williams is one of seven GOP candidates running to replace Republican Gov. Nathan Deal at the end of his term. About 3 percent of voters said in a recent University of Georgia poll that they support Williams.

Updated at 2:19 p.m.


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