Willie D of the Geto Boys is taking YouTube and it’s owner Google to task after a video criticizing the threats made against Congresswoman Maxine Waters was removed from the rapper’s YouTube page.
On Tuesday, July. 31, he held a press conference with attorney Vonnie Dones and activist Deric Muhammad. At that time, Dones explained his client, whose real name is William Dennis, had his channel, Willie D Live shuttered on July 26. Willie believes YouTube unfairly closed the account, with the website claiming the clip violated community guidelines and its hate speech policy.
The clip in question was titled, “Maxine Waters responds to death threats: ‘If you shoot at me, you better shoot straight.'” It saw Willie criticize right-wing activists for going after Waters, who canceled appearances after being threatened for calling for President Donald Trump’s impeachment.
“Let it be clear: Mr. Dennis vehemently denies promoting violence against or inciting hatred against any individuals or groups based on race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity on his YouTube channel,” Dones said.
“YouTube and Google, don’t bite the hand that feeds you,” the rapper said at the end of the presser. “Truth is not hate speech.”
After the conference, Willie D stopped by Houston’s Fox 26 to explain his account, which he said includes 1,700 videos had been totally “inaccessible.” The account has since been reinstated but D’s attorney says they still have “some leftover issues they have to deal with.”
“YouTube, if they don’t like what you’re talking about, what you’re saying, often times they will just snatch the financial rug right from under you and wouldn’t lose any sleep behind it,” Willie tells Fox.
In a statement about pulling Willie D’s channel, Google told The Houston Chronicle it made a mistake when relying on community and machine learning technology to flag content that possibly violates its standards, which humans ultimately review.
“With the volume of videos on our platform, sometimes we make mistakes and when this is brought to our attention we reinstate the videos or channels,” the statement read. “We also give uploaders the ability to appeal these decisions and we will re-review the content.”