Video streaming website Vimeo has censored a pro-family organisation after a discredited group accused it of spreading ‘hate’.
The American Family Association (AFA) says it was told by Vimeo that its account was being shut down because it will not host an account if the owner is a member of a “terror or hate group”.
AFA President Walker Wildmon accused the website of shutting down free speech and kowtowing to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) – an organisation that branded the charity an “extremist” group.
AFA describes its mission as “to inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission”.
Wildmon said: “They’ve officially shut down American Family Association’s video account with no in-depth explanation and no recourse, no way to defend our credibility.
“Vimeo’s done great harm to American Family Association by limiting our free speech and basically targeting us based on our religious beliefs”.
AFA’s Executive Vice President Ed Vitagliano said: “Vimeo has essentially characterised the Christian faith as ‘hateful’ because the Bible teaches that sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sinful. Yes, that includes homosexual activity.
“This has been Christian teaching for 2,000 years. Vimeo’s religious bigotry is appalling, and we reject the company’s heavy-handed censorship.”
SPLC markets itself as an organisation which exposes hate groups and extremists but has been accused of using its power to malign groups which do not share its political views.
In 2012, a gunman attacked the headquarters of the Family Research Council – a similar Christian organisation – shooting and injuring a security guard. The gunman later admitted he had done so because the group was listed on the SPLC’s website as a hate group which opposed same-sex marriage.