Singer/songwriter John Ondrasik fought the YouTube censors … and won.
He says the battle is far from over, though.
The artist also known as Five for Fighting (“100 Years”) scorched the Biden Administration late last year for its disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. His song, “Blood on My Hands,” proved one of the most blistering protest tracks in recent memory.
Ondrasik revisited the song earlier this month via an acoustic version sung outside the White House. He added news footage and extra commentary to the video in question, including graphic images of Taliban atrocities.
The Biden Administration helped make that possible, he argued.
The clip warned users of the images to come, and the singer welcomed YouTube’s additional layer of warning after the video went live. Five days later, YouTube yanked the video, saying its graphic content ran afoul of its policies.
Ondrasik and several right-leaning news outlets called out YouTube for what appeared to be an unreasonable cancellation. The video platform later apologized and restored the video.
The story must not end there, Ondrasik warns. YouTube’s apology, he notes, proved “disappointing and disingenuous.”
“I read a statement by YouTube’s spokesman implying that the video was reinstated after the company inserted an age restriction,” Ondrasik says in a press statement. “YouTube had already included an age restriction, which I supported, on the initial publication five days earlier.”
That came on top of the disclaimer he originally included at the start of the video. The episode made Ondrasik realize the issue is much larger than many might think.
“What happens when artists, who do not have large platforms and national advocates, are singled out and silenced? Imagine if there was a dominant entity in our past that could, with the flip of a switch, mute the iconic protest songs that were, and continue to be, critical voices in the struggle for our nation’s moral conscience.
I find little credence that these actions by Big Tech are not colored by political bias, as they tend to only censor views critical of one worldview. This is not a symptom of a healthy republic. Today, I find myself not just asking ‘What’s Happening?’ but ‘What’s Going On?.’”
The singer/songwriter continues to promote his charity site, WhatKindOfWorldDoYouWant.com, especially in light of the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Visitors can donate to the “Americans for Afghanistan Cause” to help alleviate some of the suffering.
The singer’s charitable efforts extend to the men and women of the U.S. Military.
He performed his Grammy nominated song, “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” at the Concert For New York City following the 9/11 attacks. He’s also performed repeatedly for the USO over the years and more than one million copies of his “CD for the Troops” compilation album have been sent to soldiers across the globe.