YouTube restores Czech politician's channel but deletes two posts that spread hate
Czech daily Hospodářské noviny (HN) reports that YouTube has restored the channel used by Czech politician Tomio Okamura after keeping it offline for one month, but has removed two videos that administrators consider to be spreading hate. Originally the social media platform shut down his entire channel, but the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) chair appealed.
YouTube has not commented on which specific videos have been deleted from the channel. However, the company did explain that they involved attacks on "a certain group of people" and therefore were spreading hate speech.
What's more, the intervention by the social media company means Okamura's channel will be marked internally within the firm as having been given a "first warning". If he violates YouTube's principles again, that could mean he would not be allowed to upload any more videos for seven days, after which he would have just limited access to the platform.
The head of the SPD frequently takes aim at migrants, Muslims and Romani people in his posts. His party, moreover, has been repeatedly mentioned by the Czech Interior Ministry in its reports on extremism in the Czech Republic as the main group spreading racial and religious intolerance and xenophobia in the Czech Republic.
The most recent videos on the channel, posted in July, were mainly dedicated to demonstrations by the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. In one, Okamura alleges that the decline of society is being organized by nonprofits supported by the Democratic politicians Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Another video posted to the channel shows a scuffle between demonstrators and police officers in London that Okamura calls a "Rampage by immigrants and 'anti-racism fighters' ". When asked for comment by HN, Barbora Zeťová, the SPD spokesperson, said that the party does not believe Okamura is spreading hate speech.
"He is publishing videos showing the criminal deeds of migrants and inadaptable people in Western Europe and in the USA so the public can see what the situation in the West is like and what awaits us if we give the green light to migration from Africa and from Muslim countries. Pointing to these facts is not spreading hate," the SPD spokesperson said.
However, according to Jan Charvát, an expert on extremism, pushing the envelope on what it is possible to accept as a "fact" or not is a crucial aspect of extremist propaganda. "The author is demonstrably not telling the entire truth about several of these posts and his allegations lack all context, which if it were included would demonstrate that the reality of the situation is different from his interpretation," he explained.
One example, according to the expert, is exactly the information about the violence that is allegedly being committed during demonstrations by the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. Recent studies, according to Charvát, document that violence has accompanied a bare minimum of those assembles.
- Czech town to see exhibition by pro-Romani and Romani artists referencing the Black Lives Matter movement
- More than 60 % of Czechs active online believe Romani people are favored over non-Roma in the Czech Republic
- Czech bus driver refuses to drive city bus with bigoted campaign ad, mayor negotiates its removal
- Czech MP publishes long-refuted fake video purporting to show "refugees" attacking a police vehicle
- Top Czech YouTuber doing media literacy education for hundreds of thousands was inspired by John Oliver
- YouTube wants to combat disinformation and hatred, hiring thousands to remove harmful content
- Demonstration against the Czech Govt this Saturday is more like a disinformation election rally by pro-Kremlin, xenophobic groups
- Romani celebrity distances himself from far-right party and politics in general after local campaign event in the Czech Republic
- Czech NGO consortium RomanoNet calls on lower house to dismiss Stanislav Křeček as Public Defender of Rights
- Czech President calls Romani refugees from Ukraine "economic migrants"
- Czech regional governors accuse Romani refugee Ukrainians of "abusing" aid in the Czech Republic
- Romani mothers and children groundlessly prevented from leaving Ukraine three times before finally crossing into Hungary
- Roma and other people of color fleeing war in Ukraine face discrimination and racism, Jaroslav Miko tells ROMEA TV that volunteers are refusing to help Romani families
- Czech ultra-nationalists establish political nonprofit think-tank to support "patriots"
- The Times: Putin has sent mercenaries to Kyiv led by an admirer of the Nazis to murder Zelenskyy and the Klitschko brothers
- Czech Internet association finally blocks servers spreading disinformation about COVID-19, refugees and Roma - their pro-Kremlin disinformation was a step too far
- Czech disinformation scene sharing pro-Kremlin lies and propaganda, including from opposition and extremist politicians
- Czech Culture Minister to inform Govt today about new Memorial of Silence organization combating antisemitism, extremism and xenophobia