YouTube has banned several prominent white supremacist channels, including those belonging to Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, and Richard Spencer.
Other channels banned include American Renaissance (with its associated channel AmRen Podcasts) and the channel for Spencer’s National Policy Institute. The channels repeatedly violated YouTube’s policies, a YouTube spokesperson said, by alleging that members of protected groups were inferior. These come alongside other violations that led to YouTube taking action.
“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies,” a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge. “After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”
YouTube began cracking down on supremacist channels in June 2019. The company issued updated rules prohibiting “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.” Channels that repeatedly brush up against this type of content but don’t cross the line will receive other penalties, including losing access to YouTube’s Partner Program and not being able to monetize their videos.
A number of the creators affected have already started tweeting about their bans. Spencer tweeted that he will “appeal the suspension” and called the ban a “systemic, coordinated effort.” Molyneux tweeted that YouTube “just suspended the largest philosophy conversation the world has ever known.”
YouTube’s ban of the six channels comes after Reddit banned a number of high-profile and controversial subreddits earlier today, including r/The_Donald, and Twitch temporarily banned President Donald Trump for hateful conduct over comments made in two different streams. YouTube has faced pressure from critics for years to remove Molyneux’s channel. Molyneux was banned by Mailchimp earlier this year.