YouTube has banned Proud Boys founder and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, citing repeated copyright infringement.
In November, McInnes broke away from the group after its members were involved in high-profile violent beatings and reports that the FBI considered them an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” A high-ranking FBI agent later told reporters that the FBI does not consider them an extremist group, The Washington Post reported.
Regardless of FBI classifications, McInnes has in recent weeks been banned from entering Australia, had his partnership with conservative media outlet The Blaze terminated, was fired by CRTV, and on Monday, was banned from the largest video site in the world.
“This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted,” YouTube said in a message on the page where McInnes’ account used to be. McInnes had 220,000 subscribers before his account was taken down.
McInnes blames “lies and propaganda”: In an interview with HuffPost, McInnes said he believed “there has been a concerted effort to de-platform me” and claimed to be the victim of “lies and propaganda.”
“Someone very powerful decided long ago that I shouldn’t have a voice,” he told the outlet. “I’m finally out of platforms and unable to defend myself. ... We are no longer living in a free country.”
YouTube slammed for not banning McInnes sooner: Gizmodo’s Tom McKay blasted the video giant for taking copyright infringement more seriously than hate speech that has already led to multiple assaults.
“YouTube’s official explanation is that it takes copyright complaints more seriously than all the other horrible stuff McInnes has done (and on the record). This is indeed somewhat disturbing—vague, arbitrarily enforced moderation policies are the de facto practice at most major platforms, which goes a long way towards explaining how McInnes was able to capitalize on them in the first place,” he wrote.