YouTube Gave the Tallahassee Yoga Shooter a Platform for Hate and Violence

The lead-up to this year's contentious midterm elections has been filled with heartbreaking hate and violence across the country. In the last two weeks, we've witnessed several violent attacks driven by racism, anti-Semitism, extreme partisanship — and now misogyny.

On Friday evening, Scott Paul Beierle walked into a Tallahassee yoga studio and opened fire, killing two women and injuring several others before killing himself. Once the shooter's was identified publicly, it quickly became clear that the attack was driven by his hatred for women, as clearly evidenced by racist and misogynist content he had posted online.

YouTube videos clearly show that Beierle identified with "incel" (involuntary celibate) ideology, which often condones violence against women by men they have "rejected." In one video, he even says "I could have ripped her head off" about a woman who allegedly canceled dates with him.

This story is getting old. How many more lives must be lost before social media platforms, like YouTube, take responsibility for the fact that the ability to spew hateful content in a public forum is emboldening hateful men to become mass murderers?

In 2014, incel hero Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree in Isla Vista, Calif., to punish women for rejecting him. Like Beierle, Rodger posted numerous videos online outlining the roots of his misogyny and even posted a video explaining his motives right before the attack. And yet, even after seven people died, YouTube has allowed Rodger's videos to remain online, inspiring other would-be mass shooters, like Scott Paul Beierle himself.

Hateful, violent rhetoric has consequences — and most of the time it's the loss of human lives. It's time for social media platforms to take responsibility and take a stand.

Please sign this petition demanding that YouTube stop protecting violent racists and misogynists now.

Photo credit: YouTube
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