Victory for Chad Robichaux and The Mighty Oaks Foundation took several weeks, but the overwhelming pressure of negative publicity combined with growing public outrage finally won the day. YouTube and Google, in July, pulled the organization’s advertising citing “unacceptable content,” severely impacting his YouTube programming for The Mighty Oaks Show. The determination was made solely due to the keyword, “Christian” which they labeled ‘Unacceptable Content,” claiming it violated corporate standards.
Shocked by their response, Robichaux posted the YouTube ruling on Twitter, where it quickly garnered the attention of every broadcaster in America concerned with First Amendment rights, and growing anti-Christian bias and conservative censorship on social media platforms such as Facebook. “This should alarm every American.” Robichaux stated bluntly.
Mighty Oaks Foundation is a faith-based organization using Christian principles, rather than the standard pharmaceuticals and clinical approaches, to heal suicidal Veterans and first responders Founded in 2011, Mighty Oaks has helped over 100,000 active duty military and military veterans prepare for and cope successfully with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Anyone paying attention to the news in the past several weeks has likely seen Robichaux sharing his outrage on various news programs, explaining how YouTube targeted and took down his advertisements. The Marine and former Mixed Martial Arts Champion noted for years they have used tag words such as Veterans, PTSD, Suicide- in addition to Christian -without a problem -to reach both donors and veterans and promote both the foundation and YouTube program, “The Mighty Oaks Show.”
As the “Twitter storm” spread, Robichaux began receiving invitations to appear on popular news and radio programs. The last week of July, Robichaux participated in over 20 interviews, telling his story of new Google algorithm censorship and what appears to be overt infringement of Christian religious liberty. The silver lining to the censorship, he admits, is the publicity. “Mighty Oaks has been showcased the past few weeks. We have never received a million hits before this happened.” Taking the good with the bad, Robichaux adds the notoriety has helped spread the mission of Mighty Oaks Programs which have been successful in treating this largely overlooked and needy demographic.
The former Marine with eight tours in Afghanistan in Advanced Force Ops (AFO) to his credit, explained YouTube formally responded to his initial inquiry by noting the targeting of any religious group was against their rules, calling it a longstanding policy. Knowing this to be patently untrue, Robichaux tested the policy, running the exact same advertisement, but exchanging the keyword Muslim, for the word Christian. Google never raised a flag regarding this wording, leading him to believe it is only Christians being penalized by this corporate giant.
“That advertisement,” said Robichaux,”has been running with that wording ever since, with no objections. It’s still running.” He paused to note, “Let me be clear. I think Muslims should be free to use direct targeted advertising to other Muslims. Any religious group should be free to do that!” He claims it is ludicrous to call targeted marketing “unacceptable content”. “This is basic marketing 101,” he adds reasonably. “Know who you are trying to reach!”
Robichaux was pleased to report that the barrage of negative publicity had finally been effective. During a broader, August 2 interview with Blessings Through Action, he stated he had just received word from Google that they had reversed their ruling and restored not only the advertising campaign for his YouTube videos but maintaining the longstanding use of the keyword “Christian.”
To find more information regarding help and support for veterans, first responders and their spouses see: https://www.mightyoaksprograms.org