More than three years after the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) brought to light the dangerous proliferation of Identitarianism and Generation Identity (GI) — the sprawling international white nationalist movement — on YouTube, the company has finally deplatformed more than a dozen group accounts in Germany. These groups are known for pushing the violence-inspiring “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory which is linked to multiple mass shootings in several countries, including at least five in the US. The German YouTube accounts removed earlier this year match the list of those GPAHE previously reported to YouTube for violating its hate speech policy with requests to take them down and stop their role in radicalizing young people. A recent full sweep by GPAHE researchers discovered more than a dozen GI Germany accounts were taken down with a total of nearly 50,000 subscribers.
While it has taken far too long for YouTube to take down these harmful accounts, this is a success for all of us working to deplatform hate and extremism and stop the spread of far-right terrorism. YouTube still platforms many more of these accounts, particularly in France, and must stop the spread of the replacement conspiracy theory, but the banning of the German accounts is a step in the right direction.
The full list of banned accounts follows:
- Identitäre Bewegung Deutschland – 26,700 subscribers and Identitäre Bewegung Franken (video on IB Deutschland’s channel)
- IB Schwaben – 1,440 subscribers
- Identitäre Bewegung NRW – 542 subscribers
- Identitaere Berlin-Brandenburg – 3,000 subscribers
- Identitäre Bewegung Sachsen-Anhalt – 10,100 subscribers
- IB Niedersachsen – 100 subscribers
- Identitäre Sachsen – 250 subscribers
- Identitäre MV – 215 subscribers
- IB Hamburg – 155 subscribers
- Identitäre Köln – 746 subscribers
- Identitarian Phoenix – 1,790 subscribers
- Identitäre Bayern – 1,190 subscribers
The only account on the list GPAHE provided to YouTube that hasn’t been taken down is Identitäre Bautzen, which uses the same link but changed their channel name. After rebranding in 2009, they are now called Altstadtrevolte Bautzen.
After GPAHE’s original research in 2020, Twitter deplatformed dozens of dangerous Identitarian accounts across the globe while YouTube let this dangerous movement continue recruiting and radicalizing white youth worldwide into white supremacy. Since then, Twitter has also allowed some Identitarian accounts back on the platform.
In 2022, GPAHE once again called on YouTube to take down the GI accounts, noting that allowing groups that are directly tied to terrorism and other acts of violence against migrants and people of color is in direct contradiction to YouTube’s policy. After warning YouTube many times about the dangers of allowing GI to remain on its platform in multiple countries and languages, it is good to see that in response to our relentless advocacy YouTube has started to deplatform at least some of these accounts.
GPAHE continues to work to deplatform more GI groups across the world. A full updated report on the extent of Generation Identity activity online is coming soon.