In Policy Reversal, YouTube Removes Audiobook Copies of Siege, The Turner Diaries

(New York, N.Y.) – Copies of Audiobook uploads of the neo-Nazi manifesto Siege and The Turner Diaries, a so-called  “Handbook for White Victory” for white nationalists, seem to have been taken down by YouTube. The apparent removal of these videos represents a policy reversal for YouTube, which in February stated Siege videos did not violate its Terms of Service.

“It has taken years for YouTube to recognize that the violence propagated by Siege and The Turner Diaries is inappropriate for its platform,” said Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Executive Director David Ibsen. “The company’s latest effort to remove these notorious pieces of white supremacist content indicates that YouTube is reluctantly acknowledging the real-world harms linked to this material. The removal of Siege and The Turner Diaries audiobooks also follows YouTube’s new policy announced last month in which the company promised to take down more neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and other hateful content. It is important that lawmakers and the public at large continue to hold YouTube accountable, helping to ensure that the company delivers on its commitments to public safety and security. Tech companies cannot be allowed to shirk responsibility for failing to remove extremist and terrorist content from their sites.”

CEP has documented 32 extremist entities—21 individuals and 11 organizations—with ties to white supremacist James Mason’s neo-Nazi manifesto Siege, an anthology of violent pro-Nazi and pro-Charles Manson essays that sparked a violent online subculture devoted to Mason’s calls for independent terror cells to carry out a race war. One group inspired by Siege, the Atomwaffen Division (AWD), has been linked to at least five murders and is alleged to have branches in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. As of February 2019, the “Read Siege” YouTube channel hosted 48 videos and had received more than 30,000 views since its creation in 2017.

Separately, in The Turner Diaries’ Ties To ExtremistsCEP has documented the book’s role in the deaths of 248 individuals. The most deadly of these attacks was the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168. Police found a copy of the book in the car of bomber Timothy McVeigh. He also reportedly sold the book at gun shows. Last month, CEP called for YouTube to remove The Turner Diaries from its website after the company announced its intention to begin removing certain videos from its website.

To read CEP’s resource, The Turner Diaries’ Ties To Extremists, please click here.

To read CEP’s resource, Siege’s Ties To Extremists, please click here.

To read CEP’s previous Extremism Spotlight on The Turner Diaries, please click here.

To read CEP’s previous Extremism Spotlight on Siege, please click here.

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On May 8, 2019, Taliban insurgents detonated an explosive-laden vehicle and then broke into American NGO Counterpart International’s offices in Kabul. At least seven people were killed and 24 were injured.

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