Recording artists Joy Villa and Kaya Jones, who both made waves during the election season by boldly coming out in support of Donald Trump, are saying that they are now having their music censored by YouTube.
In a joint Periscope between the two musicians, Jones explained that the views on her new pro-military video “What the Heart Don’t Know” have been bizarrely going down. Meanwhile, Villa has been hit with a cease and desist letter from the platform — after someone claimed to be in the video for her song “Make American Great Again” and demanded it be removed.
— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) August 27, 2017
Villa maintains that she has both written and verbal consent from everyone featured in her music video, and YouTube did not provide a name or any proof that the complaint came from someone who actually appeared in it.
YouTube is censoring views on @KayaJones video, yesterday it was 60K now it's 53k. What the hell? ????????????NOW My MAGA video has been taken down!
— Joy Villa (@Joy_Villa) August 26, 2017
Villa nearly broke the internet on the evening of the Grammy’s when she removed a robe on the red carpet and revealed a beautiful blue gown emblazoned with the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again,” which she also wears in the new video.
The new video from Jones, a former member of the Pussycat Dolls, is a touching tribute to the US military and the hardship that families go through while their loved ones are serving. She has previously visited and performed for our troops in Iraq and hoped that her video would help to remind our fractured nation to respect and be grateful to our service members and their families for their sacrifices.
“My family is military and proud to know grandpa is in Arlington National Cemetery with all the amazing heroes of our nation. God bless all military families,” Jones wrote on Facebook when she released the video.
Jones told Big League Politics that they have suppressed so many views that she isn’t sure how many people have actually seen her video. She explained that at the rate it was going prior to the view count going backwards she should have had over 100,000 views by now.
“I think we were attacked because we support Trump and country. Truthfully, I have no idea why, as my video is pro-military and supporting military families Joy’s video is about love of country,” Jones told Big League. She added that the best way for people to support them is to watch their videos and share the songs.
Speaking to Big League Politics, Villa explained that YouTube provided the time stamp where the person who allegedly complained appears — but refused to provide her with their contact information. She maintains that she had explicit permission from everyone featured in the video, including signatures.
“If I had a name or contact information I would talk to them and see if there’s anything to be done — but there’s no way for me to get their contact information,” Villa said. “I have the signatures, but I didn’t make everybody put their phone number or address because it was a quick shoot.”
Villa explained that YouTube is not even allowing her to submit the signatures and consent forms from everyone who appeared in the video to make her case. Instead, she was given 48 hours to blur the face or remove the video.
“Anyone, at anytime, can make such a complaint and the person who filmed has no right to say, or do, anything to refute it. It’s all up to the YouTube God in the sky to decide,” Villa said. She added that what they are doing is a bullying tactic and that she feels conservative artists have been being targeted for a long time.
In the song, Villa sings about unity and love, with lyrics such as “we can still be the voice of every hungry child — be the sound of every freedom song.”
“Kaya’s song is called ‘What the Heart Don’t Know’ and it’s about the spouse of a military soldier after he goes off and dies fighting for his country,” Villa added. “They are both beautiful pro America songs.”
Villa believes that there have been multiple attempts to target her over her views, but the spotlight after her red carpet walk at the Grammys prevented them from being successful.
However, she added that “what they can do is try to discourage us from putting out content. I feel the best way to fight this is to keep putting out more content! The more we produce and put out the less that they can do anything about it. Of course they will keep these attacks coming, and we need to fight fire by flooding the market with art music writing and creation.”
“We can’t stay silent anymore this is definitely a war on free thought and the First Amendment,” Villa stated.
Villa now plans to re-cut a new version of the video — and will be asking for submissions from Trump supporters.
YouTube has been accused of ramping up efforts to block conservative voices in recent months through demonetization and hiding videos that they deem to be controversial or insensitive.
You can't find this video. You can't like it. You can't comment. You can't go to the creators channel.
Your channel is next. Speak up. pic.twitter.com/RBdt3aQ3r4
— Lauren Southern???? (@Lauren_Southern) August 26, 2017
Journalist and popular YouTuber Tim Pool told Big League Politics that in the case of Jones’ video, it may have been a glitch — but that the idea of the platform blocking videos that are deemed “offensive” is dystopian. He added that videos on both the left and the right are being targeted with flagging by the opposing sides.
“There will come a time when someone makes a video and they don’t think it’s offensive, but the thought police will determine your video is not allowed to be seen,” Pool said. “It’s a combination of 1984 and Fahrenheit 451.” He added that “Big Brother is regulating our content, but little brother is flagging it.”