Religion

YouTube bans atheist who exposed 22-year-old Christian preacher who wants gays ‘executed humanely’

Last May, a young extremist Christian preacher named Matt Powell appeared on a livestream broadcast with atheist YouTuber Skylar Fiction. As the two discussed how fundamentalist Christians demonize the LGBT community (a fact that Powell proudly embraces), Skylar got Powell to open up about his ghoulish worldview when it comes to how he thinks gay people should be dealt with.

“As far as homosexuality goes, I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell said. “I believe it’s disgusting. And incidentally, every scientific test has come back and said that homosexuals are 50 more times likely to get AIDS… we got this AIDS thing spreading… it’s a fact that this is the case.”

“I believe the Bible puts the death penalty on it,” Powell continued. “Obviously, not by me or anybody in a regular society, obviously. I believe it’s the government’s job to execute criminals. I believe that the Bible says clearly that homosexuality is a criminal crime. It’s a crime. It’s one of the worst crimes ever.”

Powell’s reprehensible comments caught the attention of quite a few websites, causing it to become a mini-viral sensation. But this morning, I got an email from Skylar telling me that his video was taken down by YouTube for promoting “hate speech.” He told me that the video platform added a strike to his channel and he’s now banned from livestreaming his interviews for at least three months.

“It’s sad that I can’t even ask people questions about what they believe without getting flagged for promoting hate speech,” Skylar said. “This is obviously not what I was doing. I was showing the ignorance of Matt’s point of view and countering his positions. If people in this country are not aware that people like Matt exist, they have no opportunity to challenged their ideas.”

In its crackdown on misinformation and hate speech from October to December of last year, YouTube removed 8.3 million videos, 6.6 million of which were flagged by an algorithm. According to Techrader, it’s the public “that is doing much of the job YouTube should be doing, acting as moderators of the site by flagging content where necessary.” This dynamic invariably gets innocent people like Skylar flagged, sometimes with little to no recourse.

Skylar filed an appeal to have the temporary ban on his livestreaming lifted, but to no avail.

“It didn’t go well,” he said in a video posted this Tuesday. “My appeal has been denied … Now I’m on I guess a probation period for 90 days I cannot go live.”

“Matt was telling his opinions which are disgusting and awful, but the point of my program is not to promote hate, and I was arguing against it.”

Meanwhile, Matt Powell’s channel is still up and running.

If you want to support the work Skylar does, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel by following this link.

Update: Soon after this article was published, YouTube lifted the temporary ban on Skylar Fiction’s account and removed the strike leveled against him.

Featured image via screen grab

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