YouTube reinstated video channels for a European white nationalist grifter and a British nationalist grifter, and apologized for the temporary pause of their channels — describing the removal of racist garbage a "wrong call."
YouTube says it was a "mistake" to remove the channels of Martin Sellner and another extremist right-wing online personality known as "the Iconoclast," but the company won't tell reporters what happened.
The channels were removed earlier this week, with both men posting YouTube notices which claimed they had repeatedly violated the platform's community guidelines.
But on Thursday, the channels were restored. YouTube told BuzzFeed News that it had made a "wrong call" with a decision to remove them. The company didn't explain the process around that decision.
Martin Sellner is the face of the pan-European Generation Identity movement, which has been staging far-right, anti-immigration stunts for several years. Last year, he was one of three far-right activists banned from entering Britain because authorities deemed their presence "not conducive to the public good".
His link with the suspected gunman in the Christchurch mosque shootings has also been under the spotlight recently. Before the massacre, Sellner had repeated contact with him and reportedly sent him a link to his YouTube channel. The suspect allegedly replied, "fantastisch". According to the Guardian, Sellner has also used YouTube to upload German-language videos about the police investigation into his links with the accused shooter.
YouTube's reactivation of Sellner's channel comes two months after the video platform joined with Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter to make a commitment they called the "Christchurch Call to Action". YouTube and the other tech companies said they were committed to "fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence".
The Iconoclast has more than 200,000 subscribers on YouTube. In an interview with Defend Europa last year, the YouTuber spoke extensively about the white nationalist conspiracy theory of "ethnic replacement". He describes himself as a "British nationalist" who is "anti-mass migration".
A YouTube spokesperson said: "With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.
"We also offer uploaders the ability to appeal removals and we will re-review the content."
YouTube Reinstated A Prominent European White Nationalist After He Appealed His Removal [buzzfeed; image at top of post: Shutterstock]