YouTube bans counseling channel for 'hate speech' after 'conversion therapy' report
Reintegrative therapy may alter sexual attraction as byproduct of addressing underlying trauma
YouTube has deleted the account of a nonprofit counseling organization for "Hate Speech" days after a left-leaning group published a report about "conversion therapy" online, attacking the organization.
The Reintegrative Therapy Association (RTA) says that it does not promote or sanction conversion therapy, but it does encourage patient-driven therapy that may alter sexual attraction as a byproduct of addressing underlying trauma. The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) claimed that RTA uses "continual rebranding" to "dissociate" its work from "conversion therapy," but it urged tech companies to crack down on RTA in the name of fighting conversion therapy.
"Our channel went from 0 strikes against us — and having tens of thousands of views — to permanent suspension for all videos indefinitely, overnight," Joseph Nicolosi Jr., a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of the RTA, told FOX Business. "Our video content ranged from client testimonials to research explainers. None of that mattered."
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"Your account has been terminated due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines on Hate Speech," the YouTube team wrote in an email to RTA. "Although YouTube is a platform for expression of all kinds, our Community Guidelines prohibit speech that promotes hatred or violence towards certain groups or individuals."
"We have decided to keep your account suspended," the team added. "You won't be able to access or create any other YouTube accounts."
Nicolosi pointed to the GPAHE report – which faulted online platforms, including YouTube, for enabling "conversion therapy" to spread – and a Forbes article about the report for explanations as to why YouTube banned his video channel.
"The Forbes article repeatedly mentioned Reintegrative Therapy and came out less than three days before our channel was banned," Nicolosi said. He claimed that the story "specifically ordered Big Tech to cancel our content."
The report quoted Heidi Beirich, GPAHE's co-founder and a former director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, who said that "getting rid of this harmful material online is an important step toward creating a society where LGBTQ+ people are accepted and loved and nobody feels like they want or need to change who they are." The report noted that GPAHE has "sent the report to all tech companies and will follow up with each company over the coming months."
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Nicolosi insisted that RTA does not promote conversion therapy.
"The term ‘conversion therapy’ is broad, ill-defined, and makes sexual-orientation change the goal," he noted. "But in Reintegrative Therapy, the client is in the driver’s seat. The professional therapist uses evidence-based treatment approaches to treat traumatic memories. Trauma resolution is the goal, but sexuality changes are often a secondary byproduct."
He cited a five-year, peer-reviewed study recently published in the Journal of Human Sexuality, which found that "exploring sexual attraction fluidity in therapy can be effective, beneficial, and not harmful." The study found a "statistically significant" increase in well-being from redintegrative therapy, which also decreased same-sex attractions and increased opposite-sex attractions.
"Those findings constitute a threat to ‘woke’ activists, so they gave Big Tech marching orders instead of debating us on the science and outcomes," Nicolosi told FOX Business. "The Left’s only option is to crush dissent— even when it’s coming from a licensed clinical psychologist like me, who’s taking viewers through the vast array of published research findings on the possibility of shifting one way or another on the sexuality spectrum."
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Nicolosi claimed that "Big Tech promotes many scientifically incorrect videos about gender issues," referring to pro-transgender content. "By silencing scientific evidence they don’t like, they effectively shape the public conversation about the science of sexuality and gender. In the name of ‘anti-bullying’ and ‘stopping medical misinformation,’ they themselves have become the real bullies, and in doing so, mislead the very people they say they’re trying to protect – individuals who struggle with trauma and their sexuality."
YouTube did not respond to FOX Business' request for comment by press time.