The New York Times today reported that Youtube has issued a new sweeping policy today, banning all white supremacist, racist, bigoted and conspiracy theorist content from its website. Specifically, Youtube would go after “videos that claim Jews secretly control the world, that say women are intellectually inferior to men and therefore should be denied certain rights, or that suggest that the white race is superior to another race.”
Burzum frontman Varg Vikernes' Youtube channel, Thulean Perspective was one of the casualties of the new ban. While we haven't covered Varg's channel much in the last few years – the ongoing racist and and conspiratorial nature of his videos got repetitive, although there were some gems – it seems the content did not meet Youtube's new standards.
A blog post by YouTube laid it all out:
“Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.”
As for more conspiratorial videos, Youtube will also be limiting “recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat.” Youtube said such implementations has reduced views to these videos by 50%. Youtube said it would not allow channels to monetize videos if they are shown to “repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies.”
In a troubling portion of the statement, Youtube declared it would highlight “authoritative content” but does not make clear what meets those standards.
There are some already calling out Youtube on it's uneven stance for such content, as on this same day, Youtube said it would not be removing content by prominent right-wing talk show host Steve Crowder, which depicts Crowder targeting a gay Hispanic reporter for Vox, Carlos Maza, with homophobic and prejudice insults. Youtube insists that the comments were not harassment because Crowder was criticising something Menza wrote.