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Martin Sellner; Brittany Pettibone. Screenshot from YouTube

YouTube restores Identitarian channel after appeal

Austrian Identitarian Martin Sellner this week experienced somewhat of an emotional roller coaster ride. The newlywed boss of the Austrian Identity Movement had to kiss goodbye his honeymoon in Venice.

Published: September 1, 2019, 2:26 pm

    As soon as he arrived with his wife Brittany Pettibone in Italy, they received the message that Sellner’s German-speaking YouTube channel was deleted. He had allegedly “repeatedly violated the anti-hate speech rules of the company” according to a screenshot Sellner published on his website.

    It was the usual disingenuous justification of the monopolistic video platform. Instead of finally being able to fully devote himself to his wife, Sellner had to take legal action against YouTube’s latest arbitrariness.

    His opponents were meanwhile delivering the shrill justification for the action of tech giant, screaming that censorship was completely and utterly welcome when one does not agree with an idea.

    It remains astonishing how all those who otherwise want to impose their own ideology on private companies by means of quotas, language rules and anti-discrimination laws, suddenly insisted on the absolute right of this particular private enterprise.

    The joy and the newly discovered love for the free market of left-wing opinion was short-lived. Even the exhilaration of amateur thinkers, who think of themselves as experts on Internet law, were perplexed when, already the next day, the channel of the Austrian migration critic was unbanned.

    After less than 48 hours, Sellner’s YouTube channel was back online with over 100 000 subscribers. By unlocking Sellner’s account on Thursday morning, YouTube avoided a legal dispute.

    Right Wing Watch reported on Monday that YouTube had also removed at least four YouTube channels that produced “white nationalist and racist” content from its platform, including channels used by The Right Stuff, American Identity Movement (formerly Identity Evropa), VDARE, and James Allsup. On Tuesday night, VDARE tweeted that its YouTube channel had been reinstated.

    Boing Boing reported that YouTube reinstated “The Iconoclast” as well as a channel used by Sellner, and that YouTube told reporters it made the “wrong call” when it decided to remove those channels. It said that while many people found the channels “deeply offensive”, they had not broken its rules.

    The Iconoclast has more than 200 000 subscribers on YouTube. In an interview with Defend Europa last year, the YouTuber spoke extensively about “ethnic replacement.” He describes himself as a “British nationalist” who is “anti-mass migration”.

    The decision comes a few days after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki posted her quarterly letter to YouTube creators, which talked about how the company sometimes would leave up “controversial or even offensive” videos.

    Tech giants have shown themselves to be particularly susceptible to organised pressure campaigns organised by leftists.

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