The YouTube channel of T.B. Joshua, the leader of a megachurch in Lagos, Nigeria, was shut down last week after complaints about its content, which showed people being slapped and pushed as a way to "cure" them of their homosexuality.
Open Democracy, a U.K.-based human rights group, had alerted YouTube to the videos, the New York Daily News reports. Clips showed Joshua, founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations, “engaging in violent exorcism” to cast out “the demon of homosexuality,” according to Open Democracy.
One, for instance, shows him pushing a woman so hard that she falls to the floor. In the video, he slaps and pushes her and another woman, whom he calls her wife, at least 16 times.
YouTube agreed that Joshua violated its guidelines, which “prohibit hate speech and we remove flagged videos and comments that violate these policies,” company officials told Open Democracy. “In this case we have terminated the channel.”
Joshua's channel had 1.8 million followers. He is one of the most prominent evangelists in Africa, with allies that include high-ranking politicians.
Facebook has removed some of Joshua's posts but left his account up. “Facebook took a piece-by-piece approach to removing the content but left some online, including one of the seven that our reporter [Kerry Cullinan] flagged to them,” Open Democracy tweeted. “A 16-minute video in which a gay man is slapped and his dreadlocks cut off.”
Daina Rudusa of OutRight Action International released a statement praising YouTube’s move. “It is great to see social media platforms take a greater role in tackling these harmful practices by banning accounts spouting hate speech and promoting conversion practices,” she said.