YouTube has suspended the account of a TV evangelist and founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, TB Joshua over allegations of “hate speech”.
The channel, which had more than 1.8 million subscribers, was closed down on 12 April after UK-based openDemocracy filed a complaint after reviewing seven videos posted on TB Joshua Ministries’ YouTube channel between 2016 and 2020, which show the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
A YouTube spokesperson told openDemocracy that the channel had been closed because its policy, “YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies. In this case we have terminated the channel”.
YouTube says it “prohibits content which alleges that someone is mentally ill, diseased, or inferior because of their membership in a protected group including sexual orientation”.
The Facebook page, TB Joshua Ministries, which has more than 5.6 million followers says it has “removed a number of pieces of content from this page for violating these policies” unlike YouTube, which terminated the entire channel.
“We don’t allow attacks against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity, including content promoting conversion therapy services,” said a Facebook company spokesperson. “We take attacks on the LGBT+ community incredibly seriously and encourage people to report this kind of content when they see it so we can investigate”
Facebook’s hate speech policy “prohibits attacks against people based on their protected characteristics, which include sexual orientation and gender identity”. This includes “content promoting conversion therapy services which aim to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.
In reaction to the video streaming platforms’s shut down of it’s channel, the TB Joshua Ministries Facebook account said: “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste.”