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YouTube gamer banned for assaulting, killing feminists in Red Dead Redemption 2
These videos are graphic.
Warning: The videos featured in this story are graphic and violent.
A gaming YouTuber whose channel was banned after he posted a video of his character assaulting a feminist in Red Dead Redemption 2 has gotten his channel back. Shirrako, who has nearly 500,000 subscribers and more than 8,000 videos on his YouTube channel, had his channel deleted according to Motherboard after he was shown punching a suffragette, who was campaigning for the right to vote in the popular frontier game.
But Shirrako tweeted on Wednesday that his channel had been returned to him, and a YouTube executive tweeted that it had made a mistake in shutting it down.
Though the original video has been deleted, it’s since been reposted.
Along with that, Shirrako has another video on his channel titled, “Annoying Feminist Fed To Pigs” in which a suffragette is shot in the face and then deposited in a pig pen to be eaten. Then, the protagonist kicks a pig.
Other Red Dead Redemption 2 videos that Shirrako has posted include “Deporting a Mexican,” “Beating Up Chinese Man,” “Man Married Sheep & Slept With It (Strange Discovery),” and “Pedophile Locks Up Kid.”
Shirrako told Motherboard that he never received a warning before his channel was deleted but that, despite YouTube’s “three strikes” policy, his channel was immediately taken down. YouTube told him in an email that he had repeatedly violated the site’s community guidelines for showing “gratuitous violence.”
“I mean you literally rip characters apart in Mortal Kombat, why are those videos allowed and what I made is ban worthy?” Shirrako said. “It just doesn’t make sense, no matter how you look at it.”
Fellow gamers were livid at his ban, and Motherboard wrote that since “much of video game culture is ensconced in blatant misogyny, it’s not surprising but still upsetting that some players are delighted that the game lets them beat, abuse, and kill these [suffragette] characters.” Before that video was deleted, it reportedly had accumulated more than 1.2 million pageviews.
On Wednesday, though, Shirrako tweeted that he was back and that YouTube had made a “false decision.”
“YouTube tried to censor my videos by a false takedown of all the RDR2 feminist videos,” he wrote. “Everyone on Twitter fought the corporate’s censorship …”
The channel is back.https://t.co/r6JLeiGBbH— Shirrako (@ShirrakoGaming) November 7, 2018
Thanks to @KEEMSTAR @Fwiz @Boogie2988 @ColossalisCrazy @ChampChong @Veeh_Ro @TheQuartering and everyone else who showed support, love you all! pic.twitter.com/6QMP6Ajxux
According to Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of gaming, Shirrako’s banning was a mistake. “This was flagged this AM to me,” he tweeted. “The videos were re-reviewed, and we determined they should be age restricted, as they were not Community Guideline violations. The channel will be reinstated. All 8,000 videos will be rolled back to his channel.”
Keem, thanks for your input. This was flagged this AM to me. The videos were re-reviewed, and we determined they should be age restricted, as they were not Community Guideline violations. The channel will be reinstated. All 8,000 videos will be rolled back to his channel.— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) November 7, 2018
Sometimes we make mistakes, which is why we have multiple escalation paths for reviewers to raise tough decisions and we give creators the right to appeal. The reviewer will be educated on this outcome and on how to avoid repeating this mistake.— Ryan Wyatt (@Fwiz) November 8, 2018
Shirrako had said the video was a joke and that he didn’t agree with the sexist comments that were made on his channel as a result.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.