YouTube Bans Charlottesville ‘Featured Speaker’ & Former CNN Guest Richard Spencer

Richard Spencer, the American neo-nazi whose media bromance with ‘edgy’ digital-media outlets like Vice and Buzzfeed (along with mainstream outlets like CNN) helped bring him to national attention in the aftermath of President Trump’s electoral victory, has been de-platformed from YouTube, joining a group of other far-right figures like Alex Jones, as well as sympathizers of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The Verge reports that Spencer has been banned, along with David Duke (currently the subject of Slate’s popular “Slow Burn” podcast series) and Stefan Molyneux, a popular conservative voice on twitter and other platforms. Additionally, Spencer’s American Renaissance (with its associated channel AmRen Podcasts) and the channel for his infamously vaguely named National Policy Institute. All of the banned channels repeatedly violated YouTube’s policies, a YouTube spokesperson said. All the channels allegedly said that protected classes were inferior, according to the spokesperson.

“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.”

Spencer is best known perhaps for being punched in the face on camera during the protests surrounding President Trump’s inauguration in DC on Jan 2017. He also was a “featured speaker” at the far-right rallies in Charlottesville during the summer in 2017 where one counter-protester was killed.

YouTube began its crackdown on ‘white supremacist channels’ in June 2019 following complaints from progressive pundits that the platform had become a breeding ground for radical right-wing views, a situation that the company immediately moved to correct, censoring countless innocent conservative channels in the process.

The company issued updated rules barring “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.”

Spencer has already claimed he will appeal the suspension.

 Molyneux tweeted that YouTube “just suspended the largest philosophy conversation the world has ever known.”

While YouTube’s push to filter ‘hateful’ content is certainly well-intentioned, many libertarian-leaning thinkers oppose such an active level of censorship on a platform with ‘monopolistic’ reach.

Senate Republicans are pushing legislation that will modify liability protections enjoyed by social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, making them contingent on a set of standards that all platforms will need to follow, including standards surrounding the limited occasions when content should be allowed to be removed.

Source

Please follow and like us: