- YouTube has indefinitely suspended the creator known as Onision from its partner program.
- The decision means his videos will no longer be monetized.
- A new documentary examined off-screen claims against Onision as well as his violent content.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
James “Greg” Jackson has been indefinitely suspended from YouTube’s partner program, meaning his channels are no longer eligible for monetisation. The YouTuber, better known as Onision,has come to be seen as a kind of supervillain on the platform for publishing videos that many have found strange and disturbing, and he has become increasingly condemned over his 13 years as a content creator.
Jackson posted a video to his channel and his Twitter page on Tuesday night with a screenshot from an email he said he received from YouTube.
“Responsibility is our number one priority at YouTube and it’s important for us to ensure that creators are empowered to use their influence responsibly in the YouTube community and beyond,” it said. “With that in mind, we recently reviewed your channels (Onision, OnisionSpeaks and UhOhBro) and took action on content that violated our Community Guidelines.”
YouTube also pointed to Jackson’s off-screen behaviour, which includes “allegations of off-platform behaviour related to child safety.” Jackson faces accusations of abuse from at least six women. The email said Jackson’s behaviour violated “creator responsibility guidelines” and could cause “significant harm to the community.”
“These guidelines explain that we don’t allow egregious behaviour that has a large negative impact on the community,” it continued. “Additionally, this means you should be respectful of your viewers, your fellow creators, and our advertisers â€” both on and off YouTube.”
Neither YouTube nor Jackson immediately responded to requests for comment from Insider. Jackson has previously denied allegations of predatory behaviour and abuse.
The statement then said Jackson’s three channels would no longer be able to make money from advertising. The rules do not require removal of the content, however, and allow Jackson to continue uploading videos.
Jackson also posted a screenshot of his response to YouTube, arguing he was proved innocent by linking two websites he dedicates to meticulously documenting everything said and done by two of his accusers.
“Please do not punish a long time creator & innocent man,” he wrote.
— Onision (@Onision) January 19, 2021
A three-part documentary was released on Discovery Plus this month that detailed Jackson’s unusual career trajectory, and it featured an interview with his most vocal accuser, an ex-girlfriend named Shiloh Hoganson. She was the subject of a disturbing video Jackson uploaded in 2011 in which, instead of seeking help, he appeared to film her having a seizure-like episode in which she couldn’t remember who he was.
In the Discovery Plus documentary, she compared living with Jackson to being in a “cult” and alleged predatory and controlling behaviour, such as claims he shaved her head and forced her into a sexual relationship. A video resurfaced in 2019 that showed Jackson telling Hoganson, “No one will ever know how much I abuse you.”
Among the other accusations is that Jackson groomed a girl named Sarah, whom he and his spouse, Kai Avaroe, befriended when she was 14. Another woman also described disturbing punishments such as being chained in a basement for a week and being commanded to get a tattoo reading “I’m a liar.”
The documentary has undoubtedly brought more attention to Jackson’s story, but it has also received much criticism from the YouTube community.
The show depicts Chris Hansen â€” who has taken a particular interest in Jackson as a sort of continuation of his “To Catch A Predator” series â€” as a hero, even though he may have hindered police investigations into the matters. For instance, at one point Sarah tweeted that she had sent Hansen’s former “web producer” a laptop that contained evidence about her relationship with Jackson and Avaroe but that it was never passed on to the FBI.
YouTube does tend to wait for significant public off-platform backlash before taking action on complicated cases, such as when it removed Shane Dawson’s monetisation amid criticism of his resurfaced problematic content, including jokes about the sexualization of animals and children as well as racist blackface sketches.
One of Jackson’s fiercest critics, Daniel Sulzbach, better known as the YouTuber Repzion, said he declined to take part in the documentary over concerns that survivors didn’t give consent for their stories to be told on television. He tweeted Tuesday night that he thought YouTube’s decision was a result of the documentary’s publicity.
“Oh my god, Onision just got kicked off the YouTube partnership program for monetisation (way ppl make money),” he said. “I’m actually speechless.”