Shirrako, a popular YouTube content creator, was suspended from the platform on Nov 7 for publishing a series of videos showing him killing a suffragette character in the game Red Dead Redemption 2. Youtube claimed the videos the popular game filled with brutality and mayhem “promoted violence”.
“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit among other things, gratuitous violence, nudity, dangerous and illegal activities, and hate speech,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “Creative formats such as video games can be challenging to assess but when content crosses the line and is flagged to our attention, we take action as necessary.”
The YouTuber’s channel was suspended after he posted a video of his character assaulting a feminist in the game. Shirrako, who has nearly 500,000 subscribers and more than 8,000 videos on his YouTube channel, had his channel deleted after he was shown punching a suffragette, who was campaigning for the right to vote in the popular frontier game. Shirrako fed the suffragette character to an alligator, while in another he tied the character to train tracks. The most popular video showed Shirrako punching the character.
“What was most disturbing (about the videos) was that it found such a rabid audience, so quickly, and which in no uncertain terms proclaimed its hatred of feminists,” said Motherboard.
“YouTube closed [my] channel because I killed a female NPC in #RDR2… They said It promoted violence,” announced Shirrako on Twitter. “You spend the entire games murdering men and no one cares, punch a woman and you get banned, are you out of your mind.”
The alligator video was originally flagged by Google’s YouTube and sanctioned, before the platform took down Shirrako’s entire account shortly after.
“They only notified me of one video being taken down, then email saying Bye-bye basically,” complained Shirrako. “Apparently it promotes violence. Blowing a man’s head off with a shotgun is fine though (you can do that in the game).”
Violation of community guidelines, apparently it promotes violence. Blowing a man's head off with a shotgun is fine though (you can do that in the game).
— Shirrako (@ShirrakoGaming) November 7, 2018
“It was simply a funny moment from one of my streams which I’ve decided to upload as a separate video,” declared Shirrako in an interview with Motherboard. “Not sure if it was intentional by Rockstar Games but the NPC is made to be rather annoying, when you try to shop for clothing in the game, your dialogue with the shopkeeper keeps being interrupted by her shouting, so I simply wanted to shop in peace, I’m sure that as a gamer you’re familiar with these annoying NPC situations.”
Shirrako’s channel now appears to be slowly coming back online. Ryan Wyatt, Global Head of Gaming and Virtual Reality at YouTube, tweeted that the company made a mistake by taking down Shirrako’s videos.