YouTube has announced that it’s deleting videos promoting hate speech, Nazi Ideology, supremacism, and dangerous conspiracy theories, among other subjects. As part of the platform’s sweeping change, notorious metal musician Varg Vikernes’ channel has been eliminated.
In an official blog post today (June 5th), YouTube explained, in part:
One of the most complex and constantly evolving areas we deal with is hate speech. We’ve been taking a close look at our approach towards hateful content in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights, and free speech …
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. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.
As MetalSucks pointed out, Vikernes, also known as the one-man metal act Burzum and onetime member of Mayhem, had a YouTube channel called “Thulean Perspective” that promoted white supremacism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Muslim sentiments.
Vikernes famously was convicted in 1993 of the murder of his Mayhem bandmate Euronymous and the arson of multiple churches, serving 15 years of his 21-year sentence before being released in 2009. After his release, he was found guilty in 2014 of inciting racial hatred in France.
The story of Mayhem and Varg was portrayed in the recent film Lords of Chaos. On his now deleted YouTube channel, Vikernes condemned the movie and exclaimed that he was portrayed by a “fat Jewish actor.”