As I documented in detail last year and earlier this year, Christian hate-preacher Steven Anderson of Arizona’s (New Independent Fundamentalist) Faithful Word Baptist Church has effectively been banned from YouTube… but he’s been doing everything in his power to work around it.
In practice, that means getting his followers to post his recent sermons on a variety of smaller YouTube channels. While YouTube has banned some of them, many have survived and continue to post his sermons, in violation of the site’s own policies.
Over the weekend, one of those channels posted a short video of Anderson explaining to his supporters how they could evade the ban:
… Just a quick reminder that none of my videos are copyrighted, and you can download them, mirror them to your channel, you can chop them up, remix them, do whatever you want with them. You can monetize them… I don’t care what you do with them. They’re public domain.
And the reason I bring that up is that my YouTube channel is on thin ice these days. There have been a lot of articles coming out lately where people like the ADL [Anti-Defamation League] are, you know, calling for my channel to be removed from YouTube, and YouTube has been removing a lot of channels. I’ve been getting a lot of strikes on my channels. Other people are getting a lot of strikes.
So my entire YouTube channel is in danger of getting deleted and disappearing. And so all of the 6,000-some videos that are on there would just disappear in a moment.
So in order for this preaching to remain available for people to watch, the best way to keep it alive is just for as many people as possible to download it and re-upload it to their channels… So whatever your favorite sermons are — whichever sermons you like the most or you think are the most important — you know, feel free to download them and upload them to your channel.
And even better is when you can, you know, go through the sermons and chop ’em up into smaller pieces and just upload two-, three-, four-, five-minute videos on particular topics because… those videos tend to get a lot of views.
We gotta get the message out — of what the Bible actually teaches and preaches — because today people are being brainwashed by Hollywood. They’re being brainwashed by the news media. It’s like there’s only one viewpoint that’s allowed. And so, you know, we need the truth of God’s Word to thunder forth…
Anderson doesn’t say this in the video, but what he’s asking his followers to do is sacrifice their own YouTube accounts for his benefit. Because if they’re re-uploading content that was banned for hate speech or by someone who was banned, they risk losing their accounts too:
If you post content previously removed for violating our Terms of Service, or content from creators who have been terminated under our Terms, the content may be removed, your account may be penalized, and in some cases your account may be terminated.
In case you need a refresher, this isn’t about a mere difference of opinion. Anderson has celebrated the deaths of murdered LGBTQ people, called on the government to execute homosexuals with a firing squad, spread Holocaust denialism, promoted misogyny, and more. His sermons are so outrageously awful that 34 countries won’t allow him to step foot within their borders. Last year, he began spreading misinformation about COVID, even urging his congregation (and YouTube viewers) to avoid any eventual vaccines.
In recent months, his reach appears to have been severely limited. None of the recent sermon videos I saw had more than a couple hundred views and many barely cracked 100.
Remember: This isn’t about free speech. He can always post his sermons on his own website. But as he says in that video above, he doesn’t want to use his website or even conservative YouTube clones because “there’s such a small audience over there. We don’t want to give up on YouTube because YouTube is still where the masses are.”
Deplatforming him worked. It’s now up to YouTube to adhere to its own policies and make sure none of his videos are on the site.
(Portions of this article were published earlier)