YouTube banned an Infowars account just one day after the The War Room channel appeared on the platform.
The account has been terminated due to violation of the company's Terms of Service, but a YouTube representative has not provided information about what those terms were. Instead, the representative told The edge that YouTube is committed to "maintaining openness and balancing our responsibility to protect our community".
The first video of the War Room on the channel included host Owen Shroyer who read the recent letter from YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to makers who spoke about borderline-harmful content, according to motherboard. The video, called "Breaking! YouTube CEO says" Alex Jones "and" Infowars Ban Is Over, "Shroyer reportedly used Wojcicki's letter as a way to show that YouTube allowed certain content and creators back on the platform.
"A dedication to openness is not easy," wrote Wojcicki in her letter, adding that "hearing a wide range of perspectives ultimately makes us a stronger and better-informed society."
Infowars related channels were closed earlier after Alex Jones' channel was kicked off the platform last year. Jones was permanently banned after circumventing a 90-day suspension of live streams, violating YouTube's community guidelines. Frequent Infowars correspondent, conspiracy theorist and adjacent personality Paul Joseph Watson is still active on YouTube, where he has nearly 2 million subscribers.
YouTube launched a new policy in June to tackle hateful content because it is trying to strengthen its position on borderline content (defined by YouTube as potentially harmful, but not in violation of community guidelines), but even those rules are vague. Two prominent right-wing European YouTubers, including white nationalist activist Martin Sellner, recently restored their channels after being eliminated, according to BuzzFeed. A YouTube representative called the removal of his channel an error. Videos & channels are deleted when their content is completely devoted to videos & # 39; s designed to spread hateful ideologies.
The letter from Wojcicki specifically noted that YouTube "must find the right balance between openness and responsibility." It is still unclear to makers and critics where and when that line is drawn.