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YouTube just terminated the personal channel of Christian hate-preacher Greg Locke after years of him spreading right-wing conspiracy theories and pushing harmful lies. And (surprise!) he’s not handling it well.

This morning, he posted about how his PastorGregLocke channel was taken down without warning:

Many of you know that YouTube removed our church channel a few weeks ago. It was unfortunate and no real reason was given. Well today YouTube completely removed my personal Pastor Greg Locke page. There was no message, no warning and no explanation. They simply bowed to the wishes of countless haters reporting the page. I decided against doing a video about it for now. Of course it’s a bit discouraging. They literally deleted 800 videos, 105,000 subscribers and banned our church Live stream. Make no mistake…GOD WILL GET GLORY AND DO SOMETHING AMAZING!! I will not be bullied into silence. This is a bump in the road and only further proof of the agenda that we are up against. Remember, TRUTH ALWAYS HAS A PLATFORM. Just gonna sip my coffee, pray for wisdom and simply watch the Lord move on our behalf. God is good! Let’s keep mashing the gas for the Kingdom.

(You heard the man. Mash the gas, everyone.)

This is the latter half of a one-two punch that comes just weeks after Locke’s other channel was removed in a similar fashion:

Ridiculous!! YouTube just permanently deleted our church channel and wiped out many years worth of sermons. People better start waking up. Absolutely sickening.

YouTube policy prohibits terminated accounts from posting on other channels to circumvent the ban. It’s possible that’s why his personal channel was removed (and not because he recently posted something inflammatory).

Whatever the reason, it’s long overdue.

Locke is someone who denied the pandemic (despite being unable to define “pandemic”), claimed anyone wearing a mask in his circus tent church would be banned from entering, led literal witch hunts against members of his own congregation, invited convicted felon and MAGA cultist Roger Stone to speak to the masses, compared American hospitals to the “death camps of East Germany,” was a focus of a recent documentary series about conspiracy theorists, held bonfires to burn books (and Catholic artifacts), attended the January 6 Trump rally before later insisting the whole thing was a hoax, and never cared about how many people he killed as a result of his irresponsible statements.

This isn’t about free speech. This isn’t about persecution. This is about whether he deserves to be platformed on a commercial website that has been far too lenient with him over the years, allowing him to repeatedly break their rules without consequences. They finally decided he went too far, whatever the reason.

Locke is infuriated, but it’s not just because of the inconvenience of losing a platform to which he’s become accustomed. (He’s still livestreaming to 2.2 million followers on Facebook, and there are plenty of alternative right-wing video websites available to him.) He’s infuriated because right-wing provocateurs thrive on the ability to spread their message outside their bubble.

He’s infuriated because even he knows deplatforming works.

Locke doesn’t give a damn about the people inside his tent twice a week. He is constantly performing for the (much larger) YouTube audience he reaches via livestream. It’s the strangers who watch him—the people who might go down that conservative Christian rabbit hole—who make up his biggest and most important constituency. I firmly believe he would trade his circus tent congregation for the livestream audiences he’ll never meet in a heartbeat.

He has no desire to go to a website like Rumble because this isn’t about live-streaming sermons; this is purely about reaching people who haven’t been manipulated by him yet.

YouTube should have banned Greg Locke years ago. There’s no reason he should be allowed on Facebook, either. But this is a remarkable loss for a hate-preacher who became famous for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus and who has turned off even fellow residents in his rural Tennessee community.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of FriendlyAtheist.com, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.