YouTube has deleted the official channel of the controversial Nigerian televangelist TB Joshua’s megachurch for flouting its hate speech policies.
This move by YouTube is coming weeks after an investigation by the BBC and openDemocracy uncovered evidence of widespread sexual abuse and torture by the deceased preacher.
Emmanuel TV had played a crucial role in his rise from local pastor to global star.
TB Joshua passed away in 2021, but his Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) is now run by his wife, Evelyn Joshua.
The church has yet to react to the removal, but they have said previous claims of wrongdoing have been “unfounded”.
Emmanuel TV had over half a million followers on YouTube and hundreds of millions of views at the time of its removal.
This is the second time in three years that the synagogue’s YouTube channel has been suspended, following previous breaches of the platform’s community guidelines.
As part of the investigation with the BBC, openDemocracy investigated Emmanuel TV’s online presence, pinpointing at least 50 “abusive” videos on YouTube.
Afterwards, openDemocracy reported the videos to YouTube and the account got suspended on 29th January.
The Google-owned video-sharing platform has told BBC that Emmanuel TV had been removed for violating… hate speech policies.
The content openDemocracy reported consisted of Emmanuel TV footage of people with mental health issues being chained, cases of medical false information and some examples of smear campaigns against women who spoke out about TB Joshua’s sexual abuse.
This news update is coming on the heels of MultiChoice (a South African company running popular satellite services DStv and GOTv) dropping Emmanuel TV channel on 17th January.
Following the publication of the BBC’s investigation into TB Joshua’s double life, a number of contributors have been trolled by the church and Emmanuel TV affiliated accounts online. These accounts had additionally been reported to YouTube by openDemocracy, but they have not been removed.