YouTube is monetizing and helping raise funds for Keith Woods, a white nationalist and self-described “raging antisemite”

Woods has also raised tens of thousands of dollars on the crowdfunding platform Buy Me a Coffee

Keith Woods YouTube image

Citation Andrea Austria / Media Matters

Update (2/15/24): Following the publication of this article, Buy Me a Coffee removed Keith Woods’ account, replacing his page with text saying, “This page has been removed due to inappropriate use of this service.”

YouTube has allowed Keith Woods — a known white nationalist who has openly described himself as a “raging antisemite” — to stream on the platform and monetize his content. Media Matters found that Woods has earned revenue on the platform from both ads appearing on his videos and through the video-sharing platform’s “Super Chat” feature, which has garnered over $500 in contributions from viewers. YouTube takes a cut from both.

Woods, whose real name is Keith O’Brien, is an Irish white nationalist who reportedly described himself as a “raging antisemite” in a now-deleted 2019 tweet, has published dehumanizing cartoons about Jewish people, and has reportedly been “a frequent guest on white nationalist Richard Spencer’s livestreams.” In November, the Southern Poverty Law Center detailed Woods’ connections to an assortment of well-known white nationalist and antisemitic groups and figures, along with some of his past extremist commentary:

Woods appeared as a speaking guest at the white nationalist American Renaissance conference in Tennessee this August. He has appeared on podcasts hosted by members of the antisemitic, pro-Hitler group National Justice Party. He has hosted on his YouTube show the pro-Hitler white nationalist Nick Fuentes. 

Woods has belittled and trivialized the Holocaust on social media. He has published dehumanizing cartoons about Jewish people and blamed that ethnic group for a myriad of perceived problems, including online censorship.

In April, Woods is also slated to appear at a conference hosted by white nationalist outlet VDare, which YouTube previously banned from the platform. 

For years, Woods has run a YouTube channel where he has pushed racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories. As of publication, the channel boasts more than 60,000 subscribers. Despite Woods’ extremist ties, his channel is monetized, with ads appearing on many of his videos. 

Media Matters found that some of those monetized videos included interviews with extremist figures, including Holocaust denier Ron Unz and an employee of Imperium Press, an Australian book publisher that has said that its perspective is rooted in “the Aryan worldview.” Two of Woods’ monetized videos feature interviews with Gearóid Murphy, who has described his political views as “probably somewhere between libertarianism and national socialism,” publicly sympathized with the white nationalists who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, and has pushed the white nationalist “great replacement” conspiracy theory.

Keith Woods YouTube2

YouTube has also allowed Woods to earn money via Super Chat, a feature which enables viewers to pay creators to highlight their comments during a livestream. A Media Matters review found that users sent Woods more than $500 through the feature. Some of the comments users have paid Woods to highlight included a pro-Nazi salute, a user who claimed that “we’re all ethnic nationalists here,” and a thank you directed at Woods for “red-pilling normies.”

Keith Woods YouTube4

Citation A "Super Chat" comment on a June 24, 2023, video on Keith Woods’ YouTube channel

YouTube earns revenue from both ads and features like Super Chat, with creators receiving 70% percent of the revenue sent via Super Chat.

In addition to YouTube, Woods has also raised more than $25,000 using the crowdfunding platform Buy Me a Coffee, according to Media Matters review. Along with their contributions, a number of Woods’ donors posted comments to the platform that invoked the Nazi salute “hail victory.” One donor thanked Woods for transforming them into a “classical fascist,” while another said that Woods “helped redpill me a year ago.” 

Even though Buy Me a Coffee’s CEO previously told Media Matters, “We strongly condemn hate groups and have a moderation team who take them down on a daily basis, even before they make any money,” users can still fund Woods and his white nationalist agenda via the platform. 

YouTube’s monetization of Woods — and Buy Me a Coffee hosting Woods — are the latest instances of platforms monetizing white nationalist content and helping raise funds for extremists, which also speaks to the broader monetization crisis facing such platforms. For years, YouTube has repeatedly allowed channels to monetize videos that violate the platform’s own rules, as well as videos pushing other harmful misinformation.