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Dublin: 16 °C Saturday 4 July, 2020

YouTube bans Gemma O'Doherty over 'hate speech' policy breaches

O’Doherty continued to post videos on a second YouTube account despite receiving a seven-day ban.

Gemma O'Doherty pictured at City Hall in 2018.
Gemma O'Doherty pictured at City Hall in 2018.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

YOUTUBE HAS TERMINATED the accounts of former Irish Independent journalist and recent European election candidate Gemma O’Doherty for violating its policies on hate speech and harassment. 

O’Doherty posted a video last week which criticised ethnic minorities in Ireland. YouTube subsequently banned her from uploading new videos for seven days and removed the video in question. 

O’Doherty proceeded to upload videos on a second account under her name, circumventing the ban. As a result, her two accounts were permanently removed from the video-sharing platform. 

Google, which owns YouTube, issued the following statement to in response to queries about O’Doherty’s ban:

Users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube. When users violate these policies repeatedly, such as our policies against hate speech and harassment, or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.

Following the ban, O’Doherty protested outside Facebook and Google’s headquarters accusing them of “breaching her right of free speech”. 

She has been a controversial figure on social media in recent years, and regularly issues posts criticising Ireland’s media, political parties and immigration policies.

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O’Doherty attempted to run in last year’s presidential election, but was unable to secure enough nominations from local councils to get on the ballot. She also ran for the European elections this year in the Dublin constituency, where she secured 6,659 first preference votes, finishing 12th out of 19 candidates.  

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Adam Daly

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