YouTube has taken down a recent video from Joey Salads, a YouTuber who is running for Congress, because his reaction to breaking reports that the billionaire Jeffrey Epstein had committed suicide was deemed to be “hate speech.”
Epstein’s apparent suicide came one day after hundreds of pages of court documents containing new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein were unsealed and at the time, numerous reports indicated that Epstein was on suicide watch. This led to many people questioning the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death and asking how he was able to commit suicide while on suicide watch.
Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH ? Yeah right! How does that happen#JefferyEpstein had information on Bill Clinton & now he’s dead
I see #TrumpBodyCount trending but we know who did this!
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) August 10, 2019
If we were living in a paranoid fantasy universe, I would be very suspicious about the Epstein suicide, even about whether it was really suicide. And you know what? The Epstein case itself shows that we *are* kind of living in a paranoid fantasy universe
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) August 10, 2019
Something stinks to high heaven. How does someone on suicide watch hang himself with no intervention? Impossible. Unless…..
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) August 10, 2019
Officials: Jeffrey Epstein happened to commit suicide while on suicide watch. Officials: We happened to bring out Lee Harvey Oswald unprotected right in front of Jack Ruby.
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) August 10, 2019
However, despite these questions being asked by many high profile politicians and public figures, YouTube informed Salads that his video was being removed for “hate speech.”
Talking about the Jeffery Epstein Suicide Conspiracy is hate speech?
It has also resulted in a strike on my channel.
The plot thickens. pic.twitter.com/gffnrTh6JF
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) August 12, 2019
Salads says that in addition to taking down his video, YouTube also issued a strike on his channel which means he won’t be able to live stream for 90 days. If he accumulates further strikes, Salads could also be blocked from uploading and have his channel terminated.
It’s not clear which part of Salads’ video YouTube is interpreting as “hate speech.” In the video, which is still available on BitChute, Salads references a tweet where he questions how Epstein committed suicide while on suicide watch.
Epstein must be really good at suicide if he can kill himself while on 24/7 Suicide watch.
— Saladino for Congress (@JoeySalads) August 10, 2019
Salads then goes on to talk about how many people thought that Epstein would somehow end up dead because the allegations against him implicated a lot of powerful people. He also asks his audience if they think there’s some kind of conspiracy theory going on and speculates on some of the possible explanations behind Epstein’s apparent suicide.
It’s possible that YouTube is interpreting Salads’ discussion of Epstein’s death as “content denying that well-documented violent events took place” – a type of content that is prohibited under YouTube’s controversial new “hate speech” rules. However, this would be an extreme interpretation of the rules considering that millions of other people were asking the same questions as Salads when responding to the news of Epstein’s apparent suicide.
On the other hand, YouTube did recently delete a conspiracy theory focused episode of the Quoth the Raven podcast for “hate speech.” That podcast discussed Epstein and many other popular conspiracy theories so perhaps simply mentioning any conspiracy theories, regardless of how mainstream they are, is now all it takes for YouTube to remove a video for “hate speech.”