Google and YouTube briefly disabled the account of a Canadian professor who is known for his opposition to the use of gender-neutral pronouns.
On Tuesday, University of Toronto Professor Jordan B. Peterson tweeted that his main account on Google has been disabled and that he was also unable to access his YouTube channel. In a second tweet, the professor noted that Google had claimed he violated the platform's terms of service, but no further explanation was given.
According to The Daily Caller, Peterson sent an email to Google to dispute the decision to lock him out of his accounts.
"Please tell me what principle I have violated," Peterson stated in the email to Google. "I have not violated any terms that I am aware of and have not misused my account," he added.
The psychology professor gained media attention in Canada last year for opposing a bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The measure also included provisions on hate speech against transgender individuals. He warned that the legislation could hamper free speech by punishing those who refuse to use gender-neutral or preferred pronouns.
"I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words 'zhe' and 'zher,'" Peterson said at the time.
"These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century," he added.
In April, Peterson was denied a grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, following the negative attention over his stance on free speech.
He stated that he will go on a hunger strike if he is jailed for refusing to use language dictated to him by other people.
Peterson's YouTube channel, which he uses to post his lectures, interviews, and Q&As, has more than 350,000 subscribers. He noted that his email account, which had returned an "Address not found" when emailed, contains "hundreds of thousands of emails from people all over the world."
The controversial professor initially thought that the ban was a mistake, but he suspected that there "there's something that's political going on that is associated with censorship" after he was informed that the company has reviewed the ban and decided that his account is not eligible for reinstatement.
Peterson later tweeted that his Google and YouTube accounts were reinstated, but the company still has not specified why he was banned from the platforms.