YouTube removes R Kelly’s channels following sex trafficking conviction

YouTube has removed two channels linked to the R&B singer, R Kelly, after his sex trafficking conviction.

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

“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm. Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms,” explained a memo by YouTube’s head of legal, Nicole Alston, as seen by Bloomberg.

The 54-year-old music star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was found guilty and convicted in September 2021 for exploiting, sexually abusing women and minors for over two decades and also sex-trafficking charges.

The popular ‘I believe I can Fly’ crooner now has his RKellyTV and RKellyVevo removed from YouTube.

However, the catalogue of his songs is still available on the audio-streaming YouTube Music and user-created videos like covers on YouTube.

R.Kelly’s songs have already been pulled out of radio stations, likely due to the MuteRKelly campaign, founded in 2017 by two Black women, campaigning that music platforms like Apple Music, AmazonMusic, and Spotify to remove Kelly’s songs from the airwaves.

In 2018, Spotify removed the singer from their playlist, under the ‘Hate Conduct and Hateful Conduct Policy’, but returned him to the list three weeks later. It, however, installed a function that allows users to mute the singer themselves personally.

R. Kelly, who is one of the most popular cases tied to the #MeToo movement, faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars and could face up to life in prison at his sentencing scheduled for May 4, 2022, after being found guilty nine charges.

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