Cristina Chi – Philstar.com
June 21, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — YouTube on Wednesday terminated the channel of religious sect leader Apollo Quiboloy, taking away a major digital platform from the controversial pastor who faces charges related to sex trafficking and money smuggling in the United States.
This came after a content creator flagged YouTube’s support team on Twitter, saying that Quiboloy is able to run a channel on the platform despite an existing warrant for his arrest from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Upon review, we’ve determined that the channel is in violation of Community Guidelines & has been terminated,” YouTube’s support team on Twitter said in a tweet in response to the user.
Quiboloy’s YouTube channel is no longer available on the video-sharing website. Before its removal, the account had gathered more than 40,000 subscribers, based on an archive by WaybackMachine.
Quiboloy is on the US’ most wanted list and is being hunted down by the FBI for “conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, and sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion; conspiracy; bulk cash smuggling.”
A US federal grand jury in California has also indicted Quiboloy and his senior aides over allegations that he coerced children — girls and young women — to have sex with him to save them from “eternal damnation.”
Quiboloy, whose lawyers have denied the allegations, has been wanted since February 2022.
YouTube is owned by Google, a multinational technology company whose headquarters is in the United States.
Quiboloy, who has been supportive of the previous Duterte and current Marcos presidencies, is also the owner of Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), a media network that has repeatedly engaged in the widespread and baseless labeling of human rights defenders, journalists, activists and other individuals as members, operatives, or allies of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
SMNI, which runs a show where the red-tagging against government critics is done, has a partnership agreement with the Philippine Army.