Google and YouTube Briefly Banned Prof Who Refuses to Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns

In this screengrab from video, Canadian professor Jordan B. Peterson speaks at the Carleton Place Arena on June 15, 2017, during an event organized by Ontario Member of Provincial Parliament Randy Hiller.

By Published on August 1, 2017

A professor in Canada who refuses to use gender-neutral pronouns and criticizes social justice issues was banned from using his Google and YouTube accounts Tuesday, regaining access hours later with no detailed explanation provided.

Professor Jordan B. Peterson of the University of Toronto disputed Google and YouTube’s decision to lock him out of his accounts, according to correspondence obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Please tell me what principle I have violated,” said Peterson in his email to Google upon discovering that he was locked out of his account. “I have not violated any terms that I am aware of and have not misused my account.”

The psychology professor has over 350,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, which he uses as a platform to post his lectures, interviews and Q&As.

“We understand you’ve recently been unable to access your Google account, and we appreciate you contacting us,” said Google in a response. “After review, your account is not eligible to be reinstated due to a violation of our Terms of Service.”

But Google did not provide any details regarding which rule the professor violated.

When emailed at his Google address, Google returns an “Address not found” error message.

“I’ve had that account for the last, say, 15 years,” said Peterson to TheDCNF. “All of my correspondence is in that account. It’s hundreds of thousands of emails from people all over the world.”

The professor said he initially thought it was just a mistake.

“But the fact that they reviewed it and then decided that my account is not eligible to be reinstated indicates to me either that this is quite a curious mistake or that there’s something that’s political going on that is associated with censorship.”

Peterson reiterated that he had not violated the terms of service, stating that he had only recently posted a video detailing his plans for the future.

“This is just another example of these big companies that either [kowtow] to pressure … or [decide] on their own accord who gets to communicate and who doesn’t,” he told TheDCNF.

Peterson’s YouTube videos criticizing social justice regularly obtain tens or hundreds of thousands of views. The professor came under scrutiny in 2016 after criticizing a bill which could potentially criminalize using the wrong gender pronoun to identify someone. That bill is now law.

(UPDATE: Peterson reported that he regained access to his Google and YouTube accounts shortly after the publication of this piece, but the company still has not provided the professor with specific reasoning for his ban.)



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Copyright 2017 Daily Caller News Foundation

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  • Jim Walker

    We need to have an alternative to Google, youtube, FB, and all those liberal platforms because they are now so powerful, they are in control of your lives.
    If you stop and think about it, its scary to know that when Google can freeze your account, they can read everything in it.

    • Wayne Cook

      Nothing you send in gmail has ever been encrypted.

  • cestusdei

    Liberal fascism is a growing threat to our liberty.

  • Howard

    He needs to
    1. back up all his emails and videos, and
    2. set up his own email server.

    At this point, his gmail account should only forward emails to his own email server while people get used to the new address.

  • Wayne Cook

    Both companies hide behind keyboards and anonymity. I’ve had the same thing happen to my email account. There is a quiet attempt on the part of some internet companies to suppress freedom of speech, especially religious.

    • P`tar

      This is not a freedom of speech (1st Amendment) issue. The government took no actions for or against him. Google is a private company, and a public accommodation, that is free to set “rules and terms of use,” to quote The Stream above. They should, though, explain what he supposedly did that broke said rules. Of course, these are US Laws, I don’t know Canadian Jurisprudence.

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