Calvin ‘Leafy’ Lee Vai was banned from YouTube a few days ago, and the platform has now confirmed the ban will be permanent. Leafy has long been a controversial figure, and the ban here specifically relates to comments he made about other content creators, in particular Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys.
Leafy had been on a long hiatus from YouTube, but returned four months ago and has repeatedly made videos attacking, mocking, or criticising other big name YouTubers. He was temporarily suspended for similar behaviour four years ago, and after receiving three warnings in the past 90 days, YouTube has now permanently banned him.
“We have strict policies that prohibit harassment on YouTube, and we remove content that violates our policies when flagged to our attention. Channels that repeatedly violate our policies will be terminated,” YouTube says of the ban. It comes after YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki committed to weeding out bullying and harassment on the platform at the start of the year, following several similar controversies with other creators.
Pokimane recently broke her own brief hiatus to respond to Leafy’s criticisms, making an apology video where she set out her own side of the story. She has since returned to her month long break from the internet.
As well as Pokimane, Leafy has had a long running dispute with with H3H3’s Ethan Klein, and after receiving two strikes on his account in short succession in June, he set his account to private, hoping to avoid the ban. However, it appears this caution did not extend to Leafy moderating his content, and after receiving a third strike, he’s now out. YouTube confirmed to The Verge that the ban is permanent.
Morning @TeamYouTube my channel was suspended yesterday, curious if there is anything I could do to get it reinstated. Or if there is any statement on this you could give on this
— Leafy (@Leafy) August 22, 2020
Some YouTubers have welcomed the ban, hoping it will make the platform a less toxic place, while others like John Scarce have speculated that it may set a worrying precedent. Most, predictably, are just content to watch the drama.
Leafy will be appearing on Daniel ‘Keemstar’ Keem’s channel in the near future to address the ban, but it seems unlikely that anything he says or does will manage to get this ban reverted.