YouTube cancels R. Kelly: video streaming site removes sex abuser channels from its site

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YouTube has removed R Kelly’s official channels from its site following his convictions for sexual abuse of women.

The disgraced R&B superstar’s RKellyTV and RKellyVevo have been banned from the site and will no longer be able to download videos, Reuters reported.

Anyone attempting to visit either channel will now receive a message stating that the accounts have been “closed for violating YouTube’s terms of service.”

Explaining the ruling in a note, YouTube Legal Officer Nicole Alston wrote: “The egregious actions by R. Kelly justify sanctions beyond standard enforcement measures because of the potential to cause widespread harm. .

“At the end of the day, we’re taking this step to protect our users the same way we do on other platforms. Kelly will no longer be able to use, own or create YouTube channels. ‘

Last month Kelly (pictured) was convicted of all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking by a federal jury

A spokesperson confirmed that Kelly’s official channels had been removed “in accordance with our guidelines on creator liability.”

Kelly won’t be sentenced until May 2022 and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison – but if released, YouTube has banned him for life from starting a new channel.

YouTube’s removal of the singer from its platform is a much harsher punishment than other users who broke its rules.

The video site often punishes them by demonetizing their videos, which means they can no longer make any money from the ads that ran before them.

YouTube said Kelly violated the Creator Liability Guidelines, a set of rules for creators who, if violated, can justify being banned from the platform.

YouTube said Kelly violated the Creator Liability Guidelines, a set of rules for creators who, if violated, can justify being banned from the platform.

But fans who still want to listen to R Kelly’s music can still do so on YouTube’s music streaming service.

He pays $ 0.0008 for each stream played. During Kelly’s trial last month, he was reportedly owed $ 2 million in debt, and it’s unclear whether he is currently making any money from his music.

Kelly’s recordings, which were worth $ 100 million at the height of their success, are owned by RCA Music, a division of Sony Music, The New York Times reported.

The rights to his songs are controlled by Universal Music, the roughly 800 million streams they have received since early 2019 are expected to generate around $ 2 million in royalties to rights holders.

Neither Sony nor Universal have commented on their financial ties to Kelly.

Last month, the 54-year-old was convicted of all nine counts of racketeering and sex trafficking by a federal jury during his sex trafficking trial where prosecutors accused the R&B singer of exploiting its fame for a quarter of a century for attracting underage women and girls. in his orbit for sex.

YouTube said Kelly violated the Creator Liability Guidelines, a set of rules for creators who, if violated, can justify being banned from the platform.

The guidelines specifically state that YouTube can “terminate a creator’s channels if charged with a very serious crime” or “if the creator is convicted or pleads guilty,” Billboard.com reported.

“We can confirm that we have terminated two channels related to R. Kelly in accordance with our creator liability guidelines,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

While Kelly’s official channels are banned, other YouTubers will still be able to download Kelly’s work and her catalog will still be available on the audio streaming service of the YouTube Music platform, Billboard reported.

The New York Times reported that after the January 2019 publication of the Lifetime Documentary Series ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ his music won 780 million audio streams in US and that on Spotify music streaming app it is still able to attract 5.2 million listeners per month.

Following a July 2017 BuzzFeed report claiming Kelly ran an abusive “cult,” activists started the #MuteRKelly movement, calling for a boycott of her music.

Disgraced R&B superstar's RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels have been banned from site and will no longer be able to download videos

Disgraced R&B superstar’s RKellyTV and RKellyVevo channels have been banned from site and will no longer be able to download videos

The founders of the movement, two black women, called on other platforms to follow YouTube’s lead after the ban was announced.

“I’m waiting for you @youtubemusic, and so are you @Spotify @AppleMusic @AmazonMusic, etc,” calling the music streaming services where Kelly’s catalog is available to stream.

A jury of seven men and five women returned a guilty verdict against Kelly in late September after nine hours of deliberation and a six-week trial with grim testimony.

Prosecutors say Robert Sylvester Kelly, 54, ran a Chicago-based criminal enterprise for nearly three decades and had a habit of “targeting, grooming and exploiting girls, boys and women” for crimes. unwanted sex and mental torment.

He faces up to 100 years in prison – 20 years for racketeering, 10 for each conviction for sex trafficking. Sentencing is scheduled for May 4, 2022. Kelly remained in custody after being denied bail in his New York case in October 2019.


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