SAN BRUNO, CA—As part of a broader effort to combat offensive and hateful content on its video platform, YouTube has flagged all Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood episodes and snippets on its platform as “hate speech,” displaying a stark warning when users try to access the “dangerous” video content.
YouTube confirmed the “harmful” content had been flagged after it was found to be in “blatant violation” of Google’s community standards, adding that they had suspended all publishers who had uploaded videos showing Mr. Rogers smiling and singing with his neighborhood friends.
“Fred Rogers was a seemingly well-off cis white Presbyterian minister—very problematic in 2018,” YouTube’s department of truth head Xarbie Lendonson said in a statement. “While we recognize there is some educational value to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, we simply cannot allow Rogers to continue his assault on contemporary progressive values on our platform. This is a place of love and tolerance; he is not welcome.”
At publishing time, other seemingly innocuous but actually dangerous shows like Reading Rainbow and Veggie Tales had been flagged as hate speech on the platform.