YouTube quietly blacklisted R. Kelly on Tuesday, just days after the singer vowed to expose a Hollywood pedophile ring as part of a sentencing deal with prosecutors.
The Google-owned company displayed an error message to users attempting to keep up-to-date with R. Kelly.
“This account has been terminated for a violation of YouTube’s Terms of Service” states the message shown when trying to access content posted by R. Kelly.
According to a YouTube spokesperson, videos or channels can be removed if the creator is “participating in abuse or violence, demonstrating cruelty, or participating in fraudulent/deceptive behavior leading to real world harm.”
“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm,” YouTube’s head of legal Nicole Alston wrote in a memo to employees. “Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.”
According to a friend of R. Kelly, the singer and his management team “are working with the feds to reduce his prison time. He’ll provide evidence against other celebrities who were pedo**iles, and they’ll reduce his sentence.”
Rollingstone.com reports: R. Kelly hasn’t been entirely scrubbed from YouTube: Unofficial videos of his music uploaded by fans linger on the site, Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet films are available to purchase on YouTube, and the “R. Kelly – Topic” channel — the “Topic” pages are an autogenerated warehouse of sorts often uploaded by record labels or music publishers — still contains over 1,000 Kelly songs. However, YouTube has no plans to “terminate” the “R. Kelly – Topic” channel. (Similarly, the “Gary Glitter – Topic” page still exists on YouTube despite that imprisoned rocker’s history of child sex abuse.)
In a statement to Rolling Stone, YouTube said that Kelly is barred from using, owning or creating channels on the service; however, users can still upload his music onto the site, and YouTube Music will still house Kelly’s musical catalog.