A German regional court has ruled that YouTube’s removal of the “Axis of Good” (Achse des Guten) video blog by political commentator Henryk M. Broder was unjustified and has called for the channel to be reinstated, according to German media.
The Junge Freiheit news outlet reported the judgment of the court in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe following tech giant YouTube’s decision in December to effectively cancel the channel, deleting its account which had amassed more than 100,000 subscribers.
According to the channel’s creator, Burkhard Müller-Ullrich, the measure was taken without reason, noting that YouTube had referred to its ambiguous community guidelines to justify the ban. Both Broder and Müller-Ullrich contribute to the Axis of Good blog.
Axis of Good had recently been critical of the epidemiological measures implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19 and had voiced its opposition to compulsory vaccination, a measure being considered in a number of European countries — it is understood that YouTube had taken issue with content on these topics. The Axis of Good channel is among a number of German YouTube channels that have been deleted, with many of them critical of coronavirus measures or other government policies.
Broder, who is Jewish, is known for writing on topics related to Israel, immigration, and other topics outside the mainstream discourse. He has called out anti-Semitism in Europe’s Muslim population and was a signatory on the Joint Declaration of 2018, which said that Germany will be damaged by “illegal mass immigration.”
This was not the first time that the Axis of Good channel had faced the wrath of YouTube moderators, having successfully defended the deletion of its Brogers Spiegel issue last year.
The Axis of Good channel has not yet been restored, a process that can reportedly take between four and six weeks. Renowned lawyer, Joachim Steinhöfel, who has documented a number of attempts by media giants to censor its users, suggested that German Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann “could do something useful” and change the law to ensure prompt reinstatement of accounts that have been unfairly censored following a court order.
“It can probably not be in the interests of the rule of law in the interests of the many millions of users of social media that the immediate implementation of a judicial ban is not guaranteed,” Steinhöfel wrote on the Axis website on Tuesday.