YouTube Reverses Ban of Watchdog Group Right Wing Watch

RWW’s YouTube account was “mistakenly” suspended, a YouTube rep told TheWrap

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YouTube on Monday overturned its suspension of Right Wing Watch, hours after the Google-owned video giant had booted the watchdog group from its platform.

A Youtube spokesperson told TheWrap the group was “mistakenly suspended,” but declined to share more details on how the mistake was made.

Earlier on Monday, RWW’s Twitter account posted screenshots of the suspension notices from YouTube, which said the channel had violated community guidelines.

“Our efforts to expose the bigoted view and dangerous conspiracy theories spread by right-wing activists has now resulted in @YouTube banning our channel and removing thousands of our videos. We attempted to appeal this decision, and YouTube rejected it,” said the tweet announcing the ban.

RWW’s YouTube account had nearly 47,000 subscribers on Monday afternoon, soon after it was reinstated.

“Good news: YouTube has restored our account,” the group’s Twitter account posted Monday afternoon, about 7 hours after the suspension.

According to the RWW website, the initiative is “a project of People For the American Way (PFAW) dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations in order to expose their extreme agenda.”

Part of that work, of course, includes analyzing and explaining videos and other content from right-wing conspiracy sites. Misinformation is not allowed on YouTube.

According to Right Wing Watch director Adele Stan, the ban was “for posting material in an educational format that is clipped from the video programs of hard-right social media influencers.”

In a statement, Stan also said the YouTube suspension wasn’t the first for Right Wing Watch.

“Since 2013, YouTube has often suspended Right Wing Watch’s account for posting such clips, often allowing the programs from which those clips were taken to remain on its platform,” Stan said in the statement. “Our Right Wing Watch video clips are produced with a disclaimer at the top, explaining our role in keeping tabs on right-wing extremists and the educational intention with which we post such clips.

“Something is clearly wrong with the method by which YouTube determines which accounts deserve suspension or banning when the whistleblower is banned while the source of the offense remains on the platform,” Stan added.


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