- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 6, 2021

My Pillow CEO Michael J. Lindell faced resistance from several major digital platforms following the release Friday of a film he made about purported fraud in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

YouTube and Vimeo removed copies of the film, “Absolute Proof,” from their platforms, and Facebook applied labels to posts Mr. Lindell made about his movie warning users about its contents.

The two-hour-long film, which could easily be found elsewhere Saturday, consists of Mr. Lindell rehashing several conspiracy theories about the election that he has been amplifying since it ended.

YouTube pulled the video for violating its rules, but not before it had been viewed on the platform at least 16,000 times, according to a cached version of the page where it appeared.

“Per our presidential election integrity policy, we remove content uploaded after the safe harbor deadline that advances false claims that widespread fraud, errors or glitches changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election,” YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph told The Washington Times. “We removed this video and its reuploads in accordance with this policy.”

Rival service Vimeo removed a copy of the film as well, “for violating Vimeo‘s policies on posting content that claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent or stolen or otherwise illegitimate,” the company said in a statement it shared with The Times.

Facebook has allowed Mr. Lindell to share links on its social network and Instagram referring users to other sites where they can watch his film. However, it has placed those posts behind warning labels that say that independent fact-checkers have found the film contains false information and that claims made in the movie have “no basis in fact.”

Mr. Lindell, an unwavering supporter of former President Donald Trump, was best known prior to the recent election as the mustachioed face and founder of the successful My Pillow bedding company.

But after pushing claims of voter fraud and repeatedly disputing President Biden’s victory, Mr. Lindell has most recently gained notoriety for spreading related bogus claims and misinformation.

Indeed, Twitter banned Mr. Lindell last month after he repeatedly violated its rules prohibiting election misinformation, effectively denying him that platform as a means for promoting his movie.

Mr. Lindell, 59, offered little in response when asked to comment Saturday about being unable to share his film on services like YouTube and Vimeo.

“Watch this video and stay focused,” Mr. Lindell told The Times in an email, along with a link to his personal site where the movie can still be viewed online. He declined to comment further. 

Offline, One America News Network, an unabashedly pro-Trump network better known as “OAN,” has been airing Mr. Lindell‘s movie on cable TV preceded by a disclaimer saying that he paid for the air-time.

Leaders of federal law enforcement and cybersecurity agencies during the Trump administration said they have found no evidence of any widespread fraud in the 2020 election. Mr. Trump’s campaign and his allies filed scores of lawsuits arguing to the contrary, but none succeeded in court.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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