TB Joshua exposé: YouTube deletes Emmanuel TV channel of disgraced megachurch leader

Connie Queline

TB Joshua exposé: YouTube deletes Emmanuel TV channel of disgraced megachurch leader

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YouTube has terminated the official channel of disgraced Nigerian televangelist TB Joshua’s megachurch for violating its hate speech policies.

It comes weeks after an investigation by the BBC and openDemocracy uncovered evidence of widespread sexual abuse and torture by the late preacher.

Emmanuel TV played a key role in his rise from local pastor to global star.

TB Joshua died in 2021, but his Synagogue Church of All Nations (Scoan) is now run by his wife Evelyn Joshua.

The church has not commented on the removal, but has said previous allegations of wrongdoing have been “unfounded”.

Emmanuel TV had more than half a million followers on YouTube and hundreds of millions of views.

This is the second time in three years that its YouTube channel has been suspended, following previous breaches of the platform’s community guidelines.

As part of the investigation with the BBC, openDemocracy analysed Emmanuel TV’s online presence, finding at least 50 “abusive” videos on YouTube.

Their team reported the videos to YouTube and the account was suspended on 29 January.

In a comment to the BBC, the Google-owned video-sharing platform said Emmanuel TV had been “terminated for violating… hate speech policies”.

TB Joshua was famed for his “healing” ministries and filmed hundreds of services that claimed to show him curing the physically disabled and chronically ill – which multiple former church members have subsequently debunked.

The content openDemocracy reported included Emmanuel TV footage of people with mental health issues being kept in chains, cases of medical misinformation and examples of smear campaigns against women who spoke out about TB Joshua’s sexual abuse.

Emmanuel TV’s satellite channel was dropped on 17 January by MultiChoice, a South African company that runs popular satellite services DStv and GOTv.

For many years, the channel was one of the most successful Christian networks in the world, broadcasting to millions all over the world.

Following the publication of the BBC’s investigation into TB Joshua, a number of contributors have been trolled by church and Emmanuel TV affiliated accounts online. These accounts were also reported to YouTube by openDemocracy, but they have not been removed.

YouTube and other social media platforms have come under intense scrutiny in recent years over their online safety policies.

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The full BBC investigations into TB Joshua:

  • ‘Terrible things happened’ – inside TB Joshua’s church of horrors
  • How Nigerian preacher covered up fatal building collapse
  • How TB Joshua’s whistle-blowing daughter took on ‘Daddy’
  • How disgraced preacher TB Joshua faked his miracles
  • Nigeria’s disgraced televangelist TB Joshua
  • Disciples: The Cover-up on the BBC Africa YouTube channel

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Related Topics

  • Nigeria
  • YouTube
  • Religion

Around the BBC

  • Africa Eye

  • Focus on Africa podcasts

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