Story at a glance
- Odysee is a video-sharing platform.
- The platform’s vice president of growth, Julian Chandra, wrote an email on the company’s content policy following a concerned email from a user about white nationalist content.
- The Guardian obtained the leaked email, which in part read, “Are you nazi that makes videos about the superiority of the white race? That is NOT grounds for removal.”
The chief marketing officer of growth for the video-sharing platform Odysee has come under fire after The Guardian obtained and reported on a leaked email in which the executive told the site’s moderators that “being a white nationalist or nazi isn’t grounds for removal” from the platform.
Julian Chandra, the chief marketing officer mentioned, was emailing employees in response to a user email alerting the platform that “Nazi propagandist Eric Striker has announced plans to use Odysee to stream his podcast.”
Eric Striker is the alias of Joseph Jordan, a prominent alt-right figure who posts to neo-Nazi websites and blogs.
The user who emailed Chandra included links to Jordan’s channel on Odysee and numerous other channels containing white nationalist materials.
In response to the user email, Chandra wrote a mass email for employees of Odysee, and its parent company LBRY, on the platform’s content policies. “Eric Striker is a white supremacist, but that has nothing to do with him being on Odysee. What matters is if he breaks rules,” Chandra wrote, adding, “Have a look at the title of the video: if it appears to be inciting hatred toward an ethnic group or whatever; the title should be scrubbed. But that doesn’t mean the video should be removed unless it does break community guidelines.”
Chandra also wrote, “Also just being a white nationalist or nazi isn’t grounds for removal. Are you nazi that makes videos about the superiority of the white race? That is NOT grounds for removal.
"If you’re on the other hand, dehumanizing a race or doing things against our guidelines, that is grounds for removal.”
The original user who had written to the company about Jordan’s presence on the platform was inadvertently included in the email recipients. Of the videos the user highlighted as troubling, some perpetrated claims of the “Great Replacement” narrative, in which it is asserted that Jews are attempting to replace white people by mass immigration.
Unaware that the original user was one of the email recipients, Chandra wrote, “Please note also, we don’t need to provide our judgements to the people that complain. It’s none of their business how we act in response.”
The platform was already under scrutiny, with LBRY Inc. being sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission for trading unregistered securities through the use of cryptocurrency.
Editor's Note: Following publication, Chandra responded to the request for comment, stating the original piece in The Guardian used "isolated statements while ignoring the parts that make this a non-story," saying, "He left out entire paragraphs (and in 1 case an entire email) where we disavow nazism and ultimately explain that context and nuance is paramount. Arthur [the author] is advocating for preemptively barring people from our platform based on their history elsewhere. This is a dangerous proposition and doesn't allow room for human redemption." He also clarified his title as chief marketing officer, not vice president of growth.
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