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YouTube moderators ban right-wing channels, company apologizes and brings them back
YouTube has recently been under fire for allowing and promoting right-wing conspiracy theory videos and violence-encouraging channels. A stark example appeared shortly after the Parkland school shooting, when a YouTube ‘trending’ video promoted the conspiracy that shooting victim David Hogg is a crisis actor.
Today (Feb 28), YouTube swiftly removed many prominent right-wing and conspiracy channels, among them “Anti-School” and “Destroying the Illusion”, which have tens of thousands of subscribers and millions of monthly views.
In the same roundup, the website removed several prominent gun-focused channels. The removal caused an uproar on Twitter and online forums, decrying YouTube for removing legitimate content from its platform, and going further than its usual guidelines against “hateful” or “harmful and dangerous” content.
YouTube apparently agrees with the critics, claiming that the removal was a mistake of its contract worker moderators, who misunderstood the company’s policy. The videos have already mostly returned to the platform and will all be reinstated. YouTube has also decided to reject public pressure to remove the NRA channel from its platform, aiming for a more neutral stance.