"I give thanks to God and of course to my friends people who have prayed for me, supported the channel...I say it is a victory for free speech...hopefully the action that I've taken [suing YouTube to restore his account] along with the support of others will help to make YouTube a better place...goes to show that when you believe in something and consider things prayerfully and stand by what you believe in and act on that you can be successful to a certain degree." Kevin Oliver on successful restoration of his YouTube account after a year long battle.
I am very happy to report today that Kevin Oliver of Atlanta, Georgia, a Christian video blogger who blogs under the name of "Not Your Typical Negro" (NYTN), has successfully sued YouTube to have his YouTube account restored. As of this morning, Kevin's account is back up and all videos operational!
Kevin briefly tells his story in this video, the first one posted on his YouTube account in nearly a year since his account was deactivated. But here is Kevin's story:
Kevin started his video blog back in October 2007, about the time yours truly started this blog, and his blog like so many other Christian blogs was born out of his experience at a church of what we'll just call ministerial "betrayal". Kevin produces YouTube videos analyzing abusive pastors and false teachings in churches. He has produced at least two hard-hitting videos concerning issues raised on this blog and my First Amendment lawsuit against the city of Jacksonville and what Kevin calls "church mafia tactics". Kevin also contributes to the Internet radio show Church Folk Revolution.
But last June, Kevin produced and posted a rather famous video of Creflo Dollar - in the middle of the Eddie Long scandal - telling Eddie Long's church members to go back to their church because Eddie Long has "insurance". And in the video, Dollar compared Long's sins of sexual relationships with multiple male church members as simply "a wreck" and that Long is still "anointed". The video went viral, but in a few days, Kevin's account was disabled by YouTube with a standard post saying Kevin's account was suspended for "scams, spam, and deceptive
content". Below is Kevin's Creflo Dollar video:
After attempting to contact YouTube through the "regular" channels and getting nowhere - even after visiting the YouTube corporate headquarters, Kevin filed a lawsuit in Santa Clary County in early May. Kevin's suit included four basic causes of action including defamation and breach of contract. Kevin did the research himself on how to file the suit, and with the help of some friends he filed it on his own.
In just a few days he was contacted by a lawyer representing YouTube to negotiate a settlement, and eventually favorable terms were reached and his account was restored. He eventually received an explanation as to why his account was taken down for over a year, and it really made no sense, and apparently it had to do with "metadata" and "tags" Kevin put into the description section of his video posts. That seems odd, and it is even stranger considering it was the viral Creflo Dollar video that was the last one, and that it took over a year for his account to be restored.
But "Not Your Typical Negro" is back online, and kudos for Kevin sticking with this and successfully using the legal system to stand for his First Amendment rights. I'm sure that all the pastors who are featured on his videos won't be happy about his account being restored, but I look forward to more of Kevin's excellent videos.