Vimeo is being accused of censorship by an Oklahoma church for removing the congregation’s video channel after they hosted a conference that criticized LGBT advocacy in the church.
Fairview Baptist Church of Edmond hosted the “God’s Voice” conference, which featured multiple speakers denouncing reported efforts to advance LGBT ideology in evangelical churches.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that Vimeo, a popular video-sharing site, removed Fairview Baptist’s account after the church posted videos of the conference.
In a letter posted to the website Reformation Charlotte on Tuesday that was sent to Fairview Baptist by Vimeo, the company said the church’s videos violated their terms of service.
Vimeo explained that they remove videos that make “derogatory or inflammatory statements about individuals or groups of people” and had “an overall mean-spirited vibe.”
Vimeo also said they ban any videos that promote Sexual Orientation Change Efforts Therapy, telling the church that “your account had a series of livestreams promoting these views.”
On their Facebook page, Fairview Baptist posted a statement on Tuesday that included comments from widely syndicated radio host Janet Mefferd, who denounced the move as viewpoint discrimination.
“This is a blatant admission of @Vimeo viewpoint discrimination, not just objections to specific content. They removed SERMONS that had nothing to do w/SOCE. They removed Christian testimonies from people who left LGBT lives. They removed other talks on Scripture,” said Mefferd, originally on her Twitter account.
“You may not care about us, but this is an attack on Christianity. Period. There was no fair reason for @Vimeo to delete ALL the church’s sermons, w/no warning or discussion. There was NO hate, insulting or ‘mean vibe’ at @GodsVoiceConf – it was about the GOSPEL!”
The Christian Post went on the Vimeo site Friday afternoon and found that the Vimeo account for Fairview Baptist with its 300+ videos had been restored. However, videos featuring the God’s Voice conference were still down.
In recent years, social media sites like Facebook and YouTube have been accused of censoring the accounts and posts of conservatives.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the issue during a meeting of the Senate committees on Commerce and Judiciary in April 2018.
"Mr. Zuckerberg, I will say there are a great many Americans who I think are deeply concerned that that Facebook and other tech companies are engaged in a pervasive pattern of bias and political censorship," said Cruz at the time.
Zuckerberg responded to Cruz by noting that he understood the concerns, admitting that the information technology world of Silicon Valley "is an extremely left-leaning place."
"This is actually a concern that I have and that I try to root out in the company, is making sure that we do not have any bias in the work that we do, and I think it is a fair concern that people would at least wonder about," Zuckerberg said.
In January, conservative YouTube channel Prager University filed the second of two lawsuits against YouTube and its owner, Google, over allegations of ideologically-driven harassment.
“Google/YouTube continue to censor, restrict, and restrain video content based on animus, discrimination, profit, and/or for any other reason ‘or no reason,’ no matter how arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory,” stated the lawsuit.