YouTube bans Richard Spencer and David Duke over hate speech

The company also banned Stefan Molyneux.

Anatoliy Sizov via Getty Images

YouTube has banned the accounts of multiple high-profile alt-right figures, including David Duke, Richard Spencer and Stefan Molyneux (via The Verge). Among other infractions, the company says the channels associated with those figures violated its policies against hate speech, repeatedly alleging certain groups were innately inferior to others.

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies,” a spokesperson for the company told Engadget. “After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”

In all, the company says it banned six accounts today. Some of the other channels YouTube banned today include American Renaissance, as well as its associated AmRen Podcasts channel. Spencer’s National Policy Institute channel was likewise banned. Spencer said on Twitter he would appeal the suspension. “... this seems to be part of a systemic, coordinated effort,” he alleged in the same tweet.

Last June, YouTube updated its hate speech policy to ban more types of videos from its platform. "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," the company said at the time.

The bans come on the day that Reddit shut down several controversial communities, including the The_Donald subreddit, for consistently breaking its rules. Earlier today, Twitch also temporarily suspended Donald Trump’s account for airing two separate streams that violated its hateful conduct policy.