Over the weekend, rumors started to circulate that Big Tech would be mass purging popular creators and communities for “hate speech” – a term that has been used by the tech giants to shut down comedy, commentary, and criticism.
Today, those rumors were confirmed when Reddit booted over 2,000 subreddits for hate speech and Twitch suspended President Trump’s account for “hateful conduct.”
Now, YouTube has also joined in on this purge by banning the host of philosophy show Freedomain, Stefan Molyneux, for hate speech.
Molyneux had been on YouTube for almost 14 years and had over 928,000 subscribers when he was banned.
He describes his Freedomain show as “the world’s number one philosophy show.”
Not only has more than a decade’s worth of videos (over 3,400 uploads) been suddenly purged from YouTube but Molyneux can no longer connect with viewers on the world’s largest video sharing platform.
This YouTube ban is the latest of several deplatformings Molyneux has faced with Mailchimp banning him earlier this year after allegations from an activist.
The ban follows a week of mainstream media coverage amplifying Stop Hate for Profit – a campaign from non-profit the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL’s) which is encouraging advertisers to boycott Facebook because it’s not doing enough to tackle hate speech. Some advertisers have pulled ads from all social media platforms, not just Facebook.
This campaign has made hate speech on social media one of the main focal points in news coverage and created increased overall pressure for social media companies to show that they’re removing hate speech from their platforms.
Molyneux’s ban comes just over a week after political commentator Gavin McInnes was booted from YouTube – a platform which he had been uploading to for more than 15 years.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s recent statements have also signaled that the platform is going to be censoring more content under the premise of hate speech. She recently said the platform will remove hate speech from elected officials but allow mainstream media outlets to reupload this with their own “context” which means unfiltered statements from elected officials can be censored but the mainstream media is free to selectively edit or present segments of the clips in a way that matches their preferred narrative.
Wojcicki also recently called for the US to offer guidance on hate speech and cited Europe’s “much stricter hate laws,” many of which require social media platforms to remove hate speech within 24 hours.