YouTube’s contender Vimeo is now facing a lawsuit over shutting down a pastor’s account for uploading videos containing content related to “conversion therapy”.
The man describes himself as a “former homosexual” on the platform and suggests that if others are allowed to proclaim their sexuality, he should be too.
Vimeo observers a strict ban on promoting “gay-conversion therapy” and refuses to allow content that validates the idea that a person’s sexuality can be fluid and change.
Read the full complaint here.
As of Monday, the US Magistrate Judge Stewart Aaron in Manhattan has reserved a decision on a motion to dismiss the case brought forward by the pastor from California-based non-profit Church United, James Domen.
Domen asserted that Vimeo simply shut down his account in bad faith after finding several videos uploaded by him, wherein he was referred to as a “former homosexual.” Domen’s lawyer Robert Tyler argued that there were several videos about sexual orientation modifications on Vimeo, but his client was subject to an account shut-down as he identified himself as a “former homosexual.”
The suit reads:
“For three years, James Domen was a homosexual. However, because of his desire to pursue his faith in Christianity, he began to identify as a former homosexual. In July 2009, James Domen married his wife. Together, they have three biological children. James Domen is like many others in California who were formerly homosexual but now identify as heterosexual.”
Michael Cheah, Vimeo’s attorney argued that the company makes the final call and editorial decisions about the content posted on the platform.
Vimeo states that the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act allow Vimeo to restrict certain kinds of content it deems undesirable.
Any video that promotes “Sexual Orientation Changing Efforts” are forbidden on Vimeo under the prohibition of “hateful, harassing, defamatory, and discriminatory content.”
Furthermore, any such videos are by-default placed under the category of efforts intended to “harass, incite hatred, or include discriminatory or defamatory speech.”
Domen claimed that Vimeo is simply quoting its guidelines as a “pretext to justify restricting and censoring Church united and James Domen’s videos.”
What’s more, several US states have also banned efforts surrounding such sexuality-change programs after surmounting pressure from activists. While transgenderism is increasingly more widely accepted, changing the sexuality by which someone identifies is still frowned upon within the terms of service of many platforms.