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Deplatforming the far-right: An analysis of YouTube and BitChute

Jonas Kaiser and colleague track far-right channels after they are banned from YouTube.

"The content moderation practice of deplatforming, i.e. the removal of undesired actors, has become common on social media platforms such as YouTube. Little research has gone into understanding the scope and impact of deplatforming. In our study, we are particularly interested in the deplatforming of far-right channels to understand the impact deplatforming has on them. To do so, we analyze two datasets: We check whether 11,198 YouTube channels have been removed in 22 months between 2018 and 2019 and for what reason. We then focus on the far-right and check whether the deplatformed far-right channels have found a new home on the alternative video platform BitChute. Our analysis shows that deplatforming is effective in minimizing the reach of disinformation and extreme speech, as alternative platforms that will allow this kind of content cannot mitigate the negative effect of being deplatformed on YouTube."

Read more on SSRN.

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