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YouTube accused of censoring Bob Dylan's 'Neighborhood Bully'

Vandana Rambaran
·2 min read

YouTube has been accused of censoring a popular Bob Dylan song because the lyrics contain "hate speech."

"Neighborhood Bully," which was released by Dylan in 1983 in the wake of the Lebanon War and which many have interpreted as a pro-Israel anthem, was blocked from being uploaded by a user on YouTube and is unsearchable on the video site, according to an article by Tablet Mag writer Jacob Siegel.

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Siegel said he tried to search the song on YouTube and noticed that it could not be found.

He later came across a Vimeo version of the song that contained a title-card that said that the Russian version of the video was banned by YouTube as hate speech, Siegel wrote.

After reaching out to the video's uploader, Alexander Gendler, he was told that the video was prohibited from being uploaded on the site at least twice by the same user due to hate speech.

“A Nobel Prize laureate, Bob Dylan, and they call him a hate-speech monger. This is amazing to me,” Gendler told Siegel.

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Some have said that Dylan's lyrics equate Israel with an “exiled man,” who is characterized as a bully for fending off constant attacks by his neighbors.

Dylan has in the past denied that the song has anything to do with the political situation in Israel or anywhere else.

“I’m not a political songwriter," he told Rolling Stone in an interview a year after his record was released. “‘Neighborhood Bully,’ to me, is not a political song, because if it were, it would fall into a certain political party. If you’re talkin’ about it as an Israeli political song -- in Israel alone, there’s maybe 20 political parties. I don’t know where that would fall, what party.”

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YouTube did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

The video content site has come under fire several times in recent months, as lawmakers urged YouTube to crack down on videos spreading misinformation about the 2020 elections.

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