YouTube Deletes Channels Linked To R Kelly After Sex Trafficking Conviction


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YouTube deleted two channels linked to R&B singer R. Kelly late Tuesday following his conviction for crimes related to sex trafficking.

Kelly was found guilty in late September of nine counts of racketeering relating to his role in transporting people across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. The singer was accused of using his power and fame to orchestrate a scheme to recruit underage girls for sex.

A YouTube spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the removal of Kelly’s channels was in line with the company’s policy on accounts linked to individuals convicted of serious crimes.

“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels linked to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator responsibility guidelines,” the spokesperson said.

Under the terms of YouTube’s policy, Kelly will no longer be able to use, own or create any other YouTube channels, the spokesperson said.

YouTube’s creator responsibility guidelines state that certain off-platform conduct including “participating in abuse or violence” may be sufficient to justify the termination of a creator’s channels. However, Kelly’s music is still available on YouTube Music, the company’s audio streaming service, according to Bloomberg.

“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm,” Nicole Alston, who heads YouTube’s legal department, told Bloomberg. “Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”

YouTube has previously taken similar actions against accounts linked to individuals convicted of serious crimes, including Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor convicted of sexually abusing athletes.

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