YouTube to ban videos that deny the Holocaust or glorify Nazi ideology

It said it had a responsibility to prevent its platform being used to incite hatred, increasing pressure on Facebook, which still allows such content


Jewish community groups have welcomed YouTube’s decision to ban videos that promote Holocaust denial or glorify Nazi ideology, in a change to its hate speech policy.

The video-sharing website said it would specifically prohibit videos that claim one group is superior to another or deny that “well-documented violent events” like the Holocaust ever took place.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was “a positive step in the right direction”.

“In an era of fake news and extremism, countering the spread of false truths and conspiracy theories has never been more important,” the Board’s vice president Amanda Bowman said.

“We will continue to press the case to other social media companies that more needs to be done to combat hate.”

The move will increase pressure on Facebook, which recently said it would still permit users to share content denying the Holocaust happened.

A letter purportedly written by a Facebook executive and published by the Jewish Insider website last month said it would not remove lies or inaccurate content on its network “because we do believe that people should be able to say things on Facebook that are wrong or inaccurate, even when they are offensive.”

YouTube said in a blog post announcing its new policy this week that it had a responsibility to “prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence.”

The new measures aim to tackle extremist content in other areas too, such as white supremacy or denial that the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut took place.

The US-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said it had worked on its policy changes with the website, which is owned by Google, but added that more needed to be done to tackle online hate and extremism.

“While this is an important step forward, this move alone is insufficient and must be followed by many more changes from YouTube and other tech companies to adequately counter the scourge of online hate and extremism,” the group said.

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