In its continued efforts to clear hate speech from its platforms, YouTube has been taking extreme measures in dealing with extremism. The powerhouse channel has been banning high-profile right-wing accounts for the last few months, but one of the good guys just got caught up in the purge.
Right Wing Watch has lost its channel on YouTube after years of compiling evidence of conservative extremism. As its name implies, Right Wing Watch is a watchdog group, not a terrorist group. The videos they hosted were essential in showing the dangerous underbelly of the right-wing movement and its many factions and sub-factions.
But someone at YouTube doesn’t get that.
RWW’s Verified Twitter account posted screenshots Monday of the notices from YouTube, which said the channel had violated community guidelines. “Our efforts to expose the bigoted view and dangerous conspiracy theories spread by right-wing activists has now resulted in @YouTube banning our channel and removing thousands of our videos. We attempted to appeal this decision, and YouTube rejected it,” they tweeted.
Our efforts to expose the bigoted view and dangerous conspiracy theories spread by right-wing activists has now resulted in @YouTube banning our channel and removing thousands of our videos. We attempted to appeal this decision, and YouTube rejected it. pic.twitter.com/74Rfi31uQe
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 28, 2021
According to Right Wing Watch director Adele Stan, the ban was “for posting material in an educational format that is clipped from the video programs of hard-right social media influencers.” RWW exposes evangelicals incorporating extreme talking points, like “Pastor” Greg Locke.
Right-wing pastor Greg Locke used his sermon today to allege that there are child-trafficking "tunnels" under the Capitol and White House and accuse Joe Biden, Oprah Winfrey, and Tom Hanks of being "a bunch of pedophiles." pic.twitter.com/hYC864ir8a
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 27, 2021
According to their website, Right Wing Watch is a project of People For the American Way (PFAW) dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda.”
YouTube is not banning homophobic bigots, racists, fascists and other extremists. But they are willing to ban Right Wing Watch that is exposing these extremists. It's unacceptable.
— Anthony 🏳️🌈 (@anthony_arrais) June 28, 2021
“Since 2013, YouTube has often suspended Right Wing Watch’s account for posting such clips, often allowing the programs from which those clips were taken to remain on its platform,” Adele Stan said in a statement. “Our Right Wing Watch video clips are produced with a disclaimer at the top, explaining our role in keeping tabs on right-wing extremists and the educational intention with which we post such clips.
“Something is clearly wrong with the method by which YouTube determines which accounts deserve suspension or banning when the whistleblower is banned while the source of the offense remains on the platform,” Stan added.