YouTube to remove videos denying Holocaust, glorifying Nazism
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YouTube to remove videos denying Holocaust, glorifying Nazism

Google’s video-sharing platform announces new stage in fight against hate speech, supremacist ideology

YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California,  April 3, 2018. (Josh Edelson/AFP)
YouTube's headquarters in San Bruno, California, April 3, 2018. (Josh Edelson/AFP)

YouTube announced on Wednesday that it is to remove material that denies the Holocaust or glorifies Nazism.

The move, announced on YouTube’s official blog, marks a new stage in the battle against hate speech, the company said.

In 2017, Google’s video-sharing platform took a tougher stance against supremacist content, limiting actions such as sharing, recommending and commenting on clips. That policy, according to the company, reduced views of those videos by an average of 80 percent.

This latest stage aims at prohibiting videos that allege that a “particular group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status.” The latter refers to the status of a person who has performed active duty in the military.

“This will include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory,” the company said.

“Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent attempts, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary, took place.”

Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14 (photo credit: AP/Jessica Hill)
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, December 14, 2012. (AP/Jessica Hill)

YouTube said it realized that content of this kind was valuable to researchers and NGOs trying to understand hate in order to combat it and that it was looking at ways to make it available to them in the future.

“And as always, context matters, so some videos could remain up because they discuss topics like pending legislation, aim to condemn or expose hate, or provide analysis of current events,” it said.

“We will begin enforcing this updated policy today; however, it will take time for our systems to fully ramp up and we’ll be gradually expanding coverage over the next several months.”

YouTube said that it piloted an update of its US systems in January to limit recommendations of “borderline content and harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the earth is flat.”

It said it hoped to bring the updated system to more countries by the end of the year.

“Thanks to this change, the number of views this type of content gets from recommendations has dropped by over 50% in the US.”

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