R. Kelly Channels Removed From YouTube, but Songs Can Remain

YouTube has taken down R. Kelly’s video channels, R. Kelly TV and R. Kelly Vevo, a spokesperson for the platform has confirmed. The accounts were terminated “in accordance with [YouTube’s] creator responsibility guidelines,” the spokesperson said. Channel owners convicted of egregious crime may be barred if the content is closely related to the crime, according to the guidelines, making Kelly liable on the basis that he used his fame and power to establish his racketeering enterprise. R. Kelly songs uploaded by other channels, however, do not violate the creator responsibility guidelines, and his songs and albums remain available on the YouTube Music service.

“Egregious actions committed by R. Kelly warrant penalties beyond standard enforcement measures due to a potential to cause widespread harm,” Nicole Alston, YouTube’s head of legal, wrote in a memo viewed by Bloomberg. “Ultimately we are taking this action to protect our users similar to other platforms.” As part of the decision, Kelly is also barred from owning or creating more YouTube channels, and accounts reuploading the deleted content may be terminated.

R. Kelly was found guilty on nine counts by a federal jury last month, for crimes including racketeering, sex trafficking, and the sexual exploitation of a child. He will be sentenced on May 4 next year.

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