YouTube has blocked the famous Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua from accessing his channel after complaints of hate speech were reported on his channel on over 7 videos where the pastor alleges to be able to “cure gays”.
A rights body filed a complaint after reviewing at least seven videos showing the preacher conducting prayers to “cure” gay people.
Mr Joshua, popularly called TB Joshua, slaps and pushes Ms Okoye and the unnamed woman at least 16 times and tells her: “There is a spirit disturbing you. She has transplanted herself into you. It is the spirit of the woman.”
This scene, which appears in a video uploaded to YouTube in April 2018, then changes to events a week later. Ms Okoye, accompanied by her mother and two sisters, testifies before Mr Joshua and his congregation that “the spirit of woman” had been destroying her life. But now, thanks to Mr Joshua’s intervention, she has “no affection whatsoever” for her “second” and “now I have affections for men”.
The video showing the pastor “curing the gay” woman had been watched more than 1.5 Million times and had been up for over 3 years. The rights body reported the video to YouTube and several others on his Facebook page.
Facebook has also removed at least one of the offending posts showing a woman being slapped while TB Joshua says he is casting out a “demonic spirit”.
Between 2016 and January 2020, the channel posted at least seven similar clips showing the charismatic Christian televangelist engaging in violent exorcism to ‘cure’ gay and lesbian congregants of their sexual orientation by casting out “the demon of homosexuality”.
What were the grounds for Suspending the YouTube Channel?
“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,” a YouTube spokesperson told OpenDemocracy.
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.”
“It is great to see social media platforms take a greater role in tackling these harmful practices by banning accounts spouting hate speech and promoting conversion practices,” said Daina Rudusa, spokesperson for OutRight Action International, the global LGBTIQ human rights organisation.
Author: Moses Echodu
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