Update (10/22/19): Following the publication of this piece, YouTube removed Red Ice Media from its platform. A message on the channel's former landing page reads “This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube's Terms of Service.” Red Ice TV complained about the ban on a post on its Telegram account:
Far-right broadcaster Red Ice TV was banned from YouTube on October 17 following “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech.” While complaining about censorship, figures at Red Ice immediately began directing followers on other social media platforms to subscribe to a secondary channel under the name “Red Ice Media.” Previously, InfoWars and Alex Jones used this tactic of directing viewers to auxiliary channels to skirt their 2018 YouTube ban.
Red Ice TV was a notorious hub for white supremacist content, boasting more than 330,000 subscribers before the ban. The channel was operated by Henrik Palmgren and his wife, Lana Lokteff, who used it to broadcast white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and other racist content. The couple and their operation have been banned by other platforms and companies including iHeartRadio, Pinterest, Wells Fargo, Skrill, PayPal, and Venmo. Notable Red Ice titles include “They Want You Dead White Man!" and “Why Interracial Relationships are Pushed on White Women.”
Last year, YouTube had given the channel two “strikes” and had put a two-week uploading ban on its primary channel after videos were found to be in violation of the platform’s policy on hate speech. During Red Ice TV’s temporary uploading restriction, Red Ice Media was used as a workaround to continue uploading videos and communicating with followers; at least six videos on the secondary channel were uploaded during the temporary ban.
Red Ice Media hosts a collection of Red Ice TV content, including videos attacking critics of white supremacy, promoting the “great replacement” conspiracy theory, and attacking the cultural impacts of the film Black Panther as anti-white.
An October 17 livestream broadcast shortly after the removal of Red Ice’s primary account revived the sparsely used secondary channel. The stream informed new followers that “YouTube Deleted Us” and is being promoted on other social media site Telegram as the “Red Ice backup YouTube channel.” Since the ban went into effect, multiple Red Ice-branded videos have been uploaded onto the secondary channel.
On the messaging platform Telegram, far-right figures and white supremacist channels are promoting Red Ice Media and directing subscribers to the channel in order to aid Red Ice in skirting the YouTube ban. White supremacist Patrick Casey, leader of the American Identity movement, and Canadian white supremacist Faith Goldy directed their Telegram followers to subscribe to the backup channel.
This is not the first time far-right extremists have used backup channels to skirt YouTube moderators. In August 2018, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his organization InfoWars were banned from YouTube. Despite the removal of InfoWars’ primary channels, Jones and his organization continued to operate using a network of at least 14 secondary channels that YouTube didn’t address in the initial ban. One of those channel claimed that the mass shootings in ChristChurch, New Zealand, were “false flag” attacks. YouTube has since removed the Infowars-associated channels.
YouTube announced in June that it would prohibit “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.” While Red Ice TV was always the most obvious such channel, the platform still continues to struggle to effectively and decisively enforce bans against extremist content; white supremacist content continues to thrive on the platform.