America has a major problem right now with right wing extremism. Merrick Garland, the current Attorney General, even believes that domestic terrorism is again on the rise, as it was circa the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. But on Monday morning, Right Wing Watch — a longtime leftwing watchdog of the kind of conservative extremism Garland’s worried about — learned that they had been permanently banned from YouTube, only to be reinstated later that day.
According to The Daily Beast, the site was informed by YouTube that they’d violated “community guidelines.” No details were provided. When they appealed, they were rejected.
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. pic.twitter.com/74Rfi31uQe
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) June 28, 2021
But later they received a message from the video streaming service, telling them they’d been “mistakenly suspended,” but that “upon further review,” their permanent suspension had been lifted.
The problem isn’t new. Right Wing Watch, senior fellow Kyle Mantyla told the Beast, has had ongoing problems with YouTube for years, forcing them to repeatedly assure them that they were reporting on extremism, not broadcasting it. They’ve even had to stress that they have disclaimers on their videos saying as much. Those issues, Mantyla says, increased over the last year, as they’ve combated COVID-19 and 2020 election misinformation.
YouTube has a three-strike, and they awarded Right Wing Watch two of them in April over videos they published. They even refrained from publishing for 90 days, when the strikes dropped. Mantyla claims they dug up “some video from eight years ago,” and flagged that as their third strike. The service took them down last week, and it wasn’t until Monday morning that they learned their appeal had been rejected. But now they’re back up.
Right Wing Watch is an off-shoot of the longtime liberal nonprofit People For the American Way, and it was launched in 2007. Since then it has posted thousands of videos, all of which were jettisoned in the since reneged upon YouTube purge. Meanwhile, many of the outlets and personalities Right Wing Watch has covered for their extremist positions are not suspended or banned, as they briefly were.
(Via The Daily Beast)