The popular online video platform, YouTube has explained why it blocked the channel of the Ondo State-born Nigerian Pastor, Temitope Joshua (T. B)
YouTube had on April 12 closed the channel, which had more than 1.8 million subscribers, after openDemocracy contacted it to ask whether the content posted on the platform violated the platform’s community guidelines.
According to a complaint filed by UK civil rights organisation, named OpenDemocracy, Pastor T.B Joshua channel was blocked over his claim that he could cure gays and lesbians of their sexual orientation.
In addition, YouTube accused him of propagating hatred.
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.
In a viral video posted online, Pastor TB Joshua was in a prayer session with a woman called Okoye, first broadcast in 2018.
TB Joshua in the video slapped and pushed Okoye and an unnamed woman at least 16 times and tells Okoye..“There is a spirit disturbing you. She has transplanted herself into you. It is the spirit of woman,” openDemocracy reports”
The video, which was viewed more than 1.5 million before the YouTube channel was taken down, later shows her testifying before the congregation that “the spirit of woman” had been destroying her life but she had been healed after the preacher’s prayers.
She declares that she had stopped having “affection” to women and “now I have affections for men”.
The preacher said he was appealing against YouTube’s decision.
Also, a post on TB Joshua Ministries Facebook account said: “We have had a long and fruitful relationship with YouTube and believe this decision was made in haste.”
According to BBC, 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”.
Explaining the reason for the ban, Spokesperson for OutRight Action International, the Global LGBTIQ Human Rights organisation, Daina Rudusa, stated that YouTube as an online community has guideline which prohibits hate speech.
Her word reads, “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,” .
She added, “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.
“So-called conversion therapy is neither therapy, nor does it result in conversion” and it has been recognised as being “tantamount to torture,” said Rudasa.