YouTube has labelled an election campaign video by transgender activist Chelsea Manning as “inappropriate”.

Manning announced that she is to run in the Democratic Primary for the US Senate seat of Maryland last weekend.



The former Army private and whistleblower was convicted of passing sensitive government documents to Wikileaks and spent seven years behind bars, before being pardoned by President Obama.

chelsea manning twitter
Chelsea Manning

In the campaign video, released Sunday, Manning says Americans should “stop expecting that our systems will fix themselves” and calls for citizens to “take the reigns of power”.

She explains: “We don’t need, or better leaders, we need someone willing to fight.

“We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us, they won’t compromise.”

The video has been labelled “inappropriate for some users” and is age restricted.

YouTube guidelines say it restricts such videos if the content involves nudity, is sexually explicit, hateful, harmful or if it is violent or dangerous.

Other rules include copyright and privacy, though it is unlikely the video would remain live if this were the issue.

YouTube declined to comment on why the video is marked as age restricted when approached by PinkNews.

The restrictions come after content creator Logan Paul showed a man who had taken his own life in a video, which the platform failed to flag as inappropriate.

The platform even featured the video in its trending section, and it was only removed when the YouTuber himself deleted it.

Chelsea Manning at OUT100 Awards (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for OUT Magazine)

Manning is set to challenge sitting senator Ben Cardin, who has served two terms in the Senate.

He was first elected in 2007 and serves as a Democrat.

Senator Cardin is a strong supporter of LGBT rights.

Chelsea Manning
Chelsea Manning

After President Trump was inaugurated he called for action to protect LGBT rights.

He wrote: “I’ve now heard from constituents and activists that the State Department and White House websites have been scrubbed of LGBT content at the outset of the Trump Administration, including the recent apology former Secretary Kerry issued in response to my letter regarding the Department’s disturbing role in the McCarthy Era’s Lavender Scare – when approximately 1,000 dedicated civilians lost their jobs due to their perceived sexuality.

Senator Cardin

“This is alarming to me. I encourage the Administration to makes its public information portals reflective of all Americans and our values, and I will be monitoring this closely.

“We cannot and will not turn back the clock on the hard-fought civil rights of the LGBT community.”

Former military specialist Manning leaked more than 700,000 classified documents via WikiLeaks.

Chelsea Manning (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for The New Yorker)

Manning was just 22 when she shared the US diplomatic correspondence, which included evidence of civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan, profiles of detainees at Guantanamo prison camp, and low-level battlefield reports.

“I’ve accepted responsibility for my own decisions and my own actions,” she said.

Manning says she wanted to go through traditional media routes, but it was not doable.

“I think it’s important to remember that when somebody sees government wrongdoing – whether it’s illegal or immoral or unethical – there isn’t the means available to do something about it.

“Everyone keeps saying, ‘You should have gone through the proper channels!

“But the proper channels don’t work.”

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Manning says she technically tried to get the information out through the mainstream press – but opted to go through WikiLeaks after getting nervous about her short window of opportunity to release the information.

In early 2010 when she attempted to reach out to The Washington Post and The New York Times.

“I did this all on leave. I had only twelve days,” she said of that period, adding, “I ran out of time.”

The 29-year-old told ABC after being released: “I have a responsibility to the public … we all have a responsibility.

chelsea manning twitter

“Anything I’ve done, it’s me. There’s no one else. No one told me to do this.

“Nobody directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me.”

Obama’s decision to commute Manning’s sentence – one of the last of his presidency – was credited by many commentators to years of campaigning from advocacy groups.




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