In a win against extremism, YouTube de-platformed the Nation of Islam (NOI). On October 2, 2020, the tech giant cited the removal of the NOI for YouTube’s policies against hate speech, including antisemitism.
As the Jewish Journal reports, NOI’s channel violated “YouTube’s policies against hate speech, specifically the notion that members of a protected group are part of an evil conspiracy.”
Speaking with the Jewish Journal, a YouTube spokesperson added,
“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies.
“After updating our guidelines last year to better address content that spreads hateful conspiracy theories, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”
The Anti-Defamation League calls Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan “the most popular anti-Semite in America.” Farrakhan has a long history of hate veiled as “spirituality.” Clarion Project has extensively covered both Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.
Here are some fast facts on both:
- The Nation of Islam has a long history of extremism and Holocaust denial
- Farrakhan is hailed as the group’s spiritual leader. He has a record of anti-American, antisemitic, anti-white and conspiracy-filled preaching
- Farrakhan regularly calls Jews “satanic” and claims that they “control everything and mostly everybody.” He has compared Jews to termites, called his Jewish critics “stupid” and says Judaism is the “synagogue of Satan”
- Farrakhan led Iranians in the chant “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” while on a solidarity visit to the Islamic Republic
- Farrakhan has labeled Jews as “bloodsuckers” and made claims such as “Zionists dominate the government of the United States of America and her banking system”
Most recently, in his 2020 Fourth of July speech, Farrakhan said, “Jews are enjoined by their religion to poison prophets” and that Jews had “broken their covenant relationship with God.” YouTube took action to remove that video.
Farrakhan’s Fourth of July rhetoric is in keeping with the other antisemitic slurs against the Jewish people. Farrakhan also refers to Jews as “Satan” and the “enemy of God.” Parts of his antisemitic beliefs are in part hinged on racism that categorizes the Jews as “white,” which is tangled up with the anti-colonizer narrative on display in Europe and the United States.
On “white” people, Farrakhan has said they “are born with lie and murder in their nature.”
In June 2020, YouTube also removed white supremacists from its platform, including David Duke and Richard Spencer. In 2017, YouTube removed thousands of videos recorded by the late American jihadist ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki.
Speaking on the relevancy of de-platforming Farrakhan in the context of preventing violent extremism, Clarion Project’s Shireen Qudosi comments:
“De-platforming Farrakhan from YouTube helps prevent the rabbit hole of radicalization. Former extremists, including former English Defense League member Ivan Humble, have pointed to a pattern of falling into binge-watching YouTube videos that they attributed in part to their radicalization process.
“As the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma noted this year, social media algorithms are designed to offer more similar content feeds. There is no authentic human intelligence filtering for content patterns based on each individual user pattern, making newer YouTube guidelines and removing extremists a necessary step.
“In tracking patterns of radicalization, there’s more open expression of anti-Jew hatred coming from celebrities, some of whom follow Farrakhan. Pulling Farrakhan from the world’s biggest video-hosting platform and the second largest search engine after Google sends a powerful message to anyone who is confused about exactly what the Nation of Islam represents.”
As Clarion Project reported earlier this year, Farrakhan has been feted in the U.S. by prominent women “activists” including sharia-apologist Linda Sarsour and her fellow former co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington, Tamika Mallory, who praised Farrakhan as GOAT (Greatest of All Time) and refused to denounce him when pressured to do so.
Since the Nation of Islam has been removed from YouTube, all eyes are now turning to Twitter where Farrakhan still enjoys a public account and a following of over 348,000 people. In August 2020, a petition was launched to remove Farrakhan from Twitter.