Update: A YouTube spokesman said that Right Wing Watch's channel has now been re-instated and that the site was taken down by mistake, according to Washington Post tech reporter Gerrit De Vynck.
"Good News: YouTube has restored our account," Right Wing Watch tweeted hours after announcing the permanent ban.
A message from YouTube stated that the site reviewed the channel and confirmed that it is not in violation of the platform's Terms of Service. The suspension was then lifted, leaving the account active and operational again. "...sometimes we make mistakes trying to get it right," the notification stated. "We hope you understand and we're sorry for any inconvenience or frustration this has caused."
In an official statement on the reversal, Right Wing Watch director Adele Stan wrote via press release: "We are glad that by reinstating our account, YouTube recognizes our position that there is a world of difference between reporting on offensive activities and committing them."
"Without the ability to accurately portray dangerous behavior, meaningful journalism and public education about that behavior would cease to exist," Stan penned. "We hope this is the end of a years-long struggle with YouTube to understand the nature of our work. We also hope the platform will become more transparent about the process it uses to determine whether a user has violated its rules, which has always been opaque and has led to frustrating and inexplicable decisions and reversals such as the one we experienced today."
Stan maintained that Right Wing Watch remains hellbent on "exposing threatening and harmful activities on the Far Right" and expressed gratitude to have YouTube available again as a platform for the organization's work.
YouTube had banned "Internet hall monitor" Right Wing Watch's channel and removed the far-left account's content from the video-sharing platform.
"Our efforts to expose the bigoted view and dangerous conspiracy theories spread by right-wing activists has now resulted in @YouTube banning our channel and removing thousands of our videos," Right Wing Watch announced Monday, noting that it attempted to appeal the site's decision and YouTube rejected the appeal.
YouTube informed Right Wing Watch that after reviewing its channel's content, the platform found "severe or repeated violations" of the Community Guidelines.
Right Wing Watch senior fellow Kyle Mantyla told The Daily Beast that YouTube handed out two strikes to the channel in April over videos it posted, prompting the account to refrain from posting more content to the site until the strikes dropped off after 90 days. Right Wing Watch had since relied more upon rival host Vimeo.
According to Mantyla, the third strike occurred last week and the channel was taken down. Notification that the appeal was rejected, however, wasn't sent until early Monday morning when Right Wing Watch went public about the ban.
"We know this is probably very upsetting news, but it's our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all," the notification read to Right Wing Watch, underscoring that the decision was made to "protect other users on the platform."
YouTube had emphasized that the ban is permanent: "Going forward, you won't be able to access, possess, or create any other YouTube channels." The move is ironic given that Right Wing Watch is dedicated to de-platforming conservatives.
Right Wing Watch, a project of People For the American Way (PFAW), claims to be an Internet watchdog "dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities and rhetoric of right-wing activists and organizations" in order to "expose" the right-wing ideology's alleged "extreme agenda." The site's "researchers" monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites related to the right-wing movement "to analyze and distill that information for media, allies and the general public."
"By shedding light on the activities of the right-wing movement, we help expose the risks its extreme and intolerant agenda presents to our country. We do not endorse the views of groups that we report on," Right Wing Watch's website states.
Right Wing Watch is considered an online bully that has published numerous hit pieces against news outlets, journalists, pundits, and social media influencers across the political aisle—almost anyone right of center. Right Wing Watch has pressured Big Tech companies in the past to censor its political opponents.
"Congratulations once again to all the liberals and leftists -- led by their journalists -- who urged censorship of political speech by Silicon Valley monopolists based in the belief that it would only be used to silence your adversaries and enemies but never your allies," commented journalist Glenn Greenwald who was attacked by Right Wing Watch for referring to the Capitol Riot suspects as "impoverished criminal defendants" attempting to raise legal defense money. The takedown piece was related to Jan. 6 arrestees collecting donations through crowdfunding sites.
Greenwald accused USA Today reporters of censoring the efforts after the mainstream publication's article, titled "Insurrection fundraiser: Capitol riot extremists, Trump supporters raise money for lawyer bills online," named the donation platforms used such as Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo.
"The funniest thing is, in order to defend Silicon Valley giants, liberals unwittingly adopted the most extreme form of libertarian laissez faire economics - private corporations can do what they want, associate with whom they want - yet apply it only to monopolies but nobody else," Greenwald pointed out via Twitter thread.
"YT is a private company. Have you tried creating your own platform?" The Bongino Report reiterated the flawed libertarian argument that's often regurgitated by the left and its allies whenever any conservative is censored.
"I am very pro free speech," tweeted YouTuber Tim Pool who has been named in Right Wing Watch articles since 2019. The most recent Pool mention was for defending Disney+ star Gina Carano over the actress's controversial Instagram story, blaming corporate media and Hollywood for cancelling Carano "because she was brave enough to speak out," Pool tweeted at the time. "Any and all dissent must be crushed I wonder though. Why you got mad because she was criticizing people who supported the Nazis Strike a little too close to home for you?"
"I will no longer defend anti-speech scumbags who set fire to the system for ideological gain when they get burned by their own arson," Pool declared Monday.
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