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YouTube bans Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes

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#1 noodle

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 10:52 AM

YouTube banned Vice co-founder and Proud Boys creator Gavin McInnes on Monday, making it one of the last social media platforms to do so. The reason given when visiting his now-deleted channel is  “copyright infringement.” It is unclear if the ban is permanent as YouTube did not respond immediately for comment.


McInnes founded the all-male Proud Boys in 2016 and the group, which identifies itself as “Western chauvinists,” quickly became associated with the alt-right. An internal report sent by law enforcement officials this summer described the Proud Boys as extremist white nationalists who engage in political violence and use social media to spread their message and recruit. To quote it, “some Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and cities like Charlottesville… Portland… and Seattle.” The report was part of an internal investigation into a police officer who wore a Proud Boys sweatshirt and ultimately resulted in her getting terminated because her association with the group violated two tenets of her oath as a police officer. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the Proud Boys as a “Hate Group.” In October, the NYPD was looking to arrest several Proud Boys members for engaging in a violent street brawl after they listened to a speech given by McInnes.

McInnes publicly disassociated himself from the Proud Boys last month, in a video saying he was doing so “reluctantly” because “rumors and lies and terrible journalism have made their way to the court system.” McInnes spoke to the Huffington Post today about his YouTube ban and claimed that “there has been a concerted effort to de-platform me” and that he was the victim of “lies and propaganda.” McInnes had more than 200,000 subscribers before he was banned.


Twitter suspended McInnes’ account in August, Facebook the end of October, both for Hate Group related reasons. Twitter and Facebook deserve props here because they banned McInnes before the FBI’s designation, which officials have since tried to walk back, became more well-known. Newly combined conservative outlet Blaze Media fired McInnes over the weekend, reason not given.


The message displayed when visiting what was once McInnes YouTube page says “This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.” Given his recent firing, it wouldn’t be wrong to speculate some of those copyright claims may have come from Blaze Media.


YouTube deplatforming McInnes over copyright infringement and not violations of Terms of Service as related to Hate Groups is an interesting -- even cowardly -- move. Copyright and related laws are one of the few things people of the Internet respect and are willing to treat as a bipartisan issue. If it emerges that copyright law was abused to remove McInnes, deleting his channel in this way will backfire horribly because incredulously, those who abuse copyright law are more hated online than feminists and white nationalists combined. A YouTube spokesperson in a statement to the Hill said they terminate accounts of "repeat offenders."

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#2 SouthernComfort

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Posted 12 December 2018 - 01:46 PM

Politics of course.