August 5, 2019
YouTube Bans 14-Year-Old Creator Soph For Hate Speech

YouTube has removed the account of "Soph," a 14-year-old girl whose videos have been known for hate speech.

As The Verge reports, the removal of Soph's account follows a video that focused on the LGBTQ community. Titled "Pride and Prejudice," the 12-minute video appears to have encouraged violence against gays. As Buzzfeed News reporter Joseph Bernstein wrote on Twitter, the video ends with an unseen male voice saying, "F**k you. Die. Die. F**k you and die." Similarly, Soph ended her commentary by encouraging her viewers to "blame Soph in 'your manifesto,'" which Buzzfeed News suggests is a reference to hate-filled manifestos that have appeared online in connection with mass shootings. One such manifesto was purportedly written by alleged New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant.

The removal of Soph's account appears to have been the final straw in an often contentious relationship between her and the platform. Specifically, the company says that Soph's final video violated the company's "three strikes" policy against hate speech; that is, it was her third "strike" in 90 days, which was grounds for shutting down her account.

It's unclear what, specifically, the other two strikes were. According to a May 2019 Buzzfeed News report, Soph's videos, at the time, were filled with anti-gay rhetoric ("Kill yourself, f****t") and/or anti-Muslim rhetoric.

In one video, for example, she said, "I've become a devout follower of the Prophet Muhammad... I get raped by my 40-year-old husband every so often and I have to worship a black cube to indirectly please an ancient Canaanite god — but at least I get to go to San Fran and stone the s**t out of some gays, and the cops can't do anything about it because California is a crypto-caliphate."

Similarly, as San Francisco's KRON-TV reported at the time, back in May 2018 police investigated a supposed threat made against YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. The threat was deemed "not credible" because the teen doesn't have access to firearms.

At the time, Soph's parents, who were not identified in KRON's report, said that they were aware of what their daughter was doing but didn't have any role in her channel beyond buying props and cameras.

As for Soph, she appears to have reacted to her YouTube banning with another threat. Buzzfeed reports that she tweeted a photo of herself holding what appears to be a gun, with the caption "youtube [sic] headquarters here I come." She later deleted that tweet and followed it up with another in which she said, "Gun tweet obviosly [sic] a joke."