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Poilievre faces calls to apologize, explain misogynist YouTube tags

Pierre Poilievre.

Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Official Opposition.

Photo: La Presse canadienne / Adrian Wyld


Poilievre's office has not responded to questions about who added a 'Men going their own way' tag

YouTube videos uploaded to Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre's YouTube channel included a tag associated with a misogynist men's rights movement — and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on him to apologize.

MGTOW, which stands for Men going their own way, was a tag on YouTube videos on Poilievre's channel going back to 2018. Global News first reported the story (new window) and reported finding the tag on 50 of Poilievre's most recent YouTube videos.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Poilievre to apologize in the House of Commons Thursday.

If it were not for Global News, we would not have learned that the Conservative leader has been purposefully using his videos to appeal to far-right, misogynistic online movements, Trudeau said in the House of Commons.

These are anti-women movements and they have had devastating real-life consequences. Mr. Speaker, I call on the Conservative leader to stand in this House, take responsibility and apologize.

WATCH | Trudeau and Poilievre debate use of misogynist YouTube tag: 

Trudeau and Poilievre debate use of misogynist YouTube tag

43 minutes agoDuration3:08Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre trade shots during question period over the use of a misogynist hashtag on Poilievre's YouTube channel.

Poilievre did not apologize. He said he has addressed the issue.

I condemned this organization and I corrected the problem as soon as it became known to me, Mr. Speaker, Poilievre said.

I condemn all forms of misogyny.

Global reported that the tags were deleted soon after it inquired about them. CBC News was able to confirm the existence of the tags using the Internet's Wayback Machine.

A YouTube help page (new window) says tags are descriptive keywords you can add to your video to help viewers find your content.

Poilievre's office has not responded to questions from CBC News about who added the tag to the videos and why.

Poilievre responded to a question from Liberal MP Mark Gerretsen about the tags in the House of Commons Thursday morning.

Of course we on this side reject all misogyny and all acts of extremism, and that is how we will always conduct ourselves over here, Poilievre said.

MGTOW associated with male supremacy: expert

The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) lists the MGTOW acronym in a page on the male supremacy (new window) ideology. The SPLC defines MGTOW as men who present themselves as male separatists and have chosen to remove themselves from the negative influence of women entirely.

Jacob Johanssen, a professor of communications at St. Mary's University in London, U.K., said MGTOW is an online community that can be defined male supremacist or isolationist.

Men who advocate a MGTOW lifestyle wish to live in isolation from women and cut women out of their lives as much as possible, Johanssen said in an email.

Many MGTOW men exhibit deeply misogynist views and discuss women at length. They share experiences in which they have been allegedly treated badly or rejected by women and as a result wish to live alone or among male peers. Some claim that they enjoy being single and see no point in dating or heterosexual relationships.

Johanssen said it's difficult to determine how many men associate themselves with the MGTOW ideology.

The community tends to have a presence on different social media platforms like Reddit, YouTube or Twitter and it is difficult to get a sense of who subscribes to that lifestyle or is just curious, for example, Johanssen said.

Reddit banned a MGTOW community (new window) last year for violating the website's rules on hate speech. The video-sharing platform TikTok banned the MGTOW hashtag last year, according to a report from Vice News (new window).

Richard Raycraft (new window) · CBC News