YouTube is cracking down on terror.
Not only are they ramping up efforts to combat terrorist content that violates their standards by identifying violent videos more quickly and taking them down, but they are also taking a tougher stance on videos that aren’t in direct violation of their polices – and therefore can’t be taken offline.
Videos that contain offensive or inflammatory religious content will remain on their site – but now with new restrictions. Those videos will not play with ads, and users won’t be able to make money off their views. Comments on the videos will be deactivated, and they can’t be promoted by users. The videos will also play along with a warning.
Google’s general counsel, Kent Walker, wrote in a blog post, saying, “…That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.”
These videos that aren’t explicitly calling for violence can be just as dangerous. One of the attackers in the London Bridge knife attack was reportedly radicalized by watching sermons from an Islamic cleric, Ahmad Jibril, on YouTube.
Jibril’s account remains active, with no ad play – but there’s also now warning posted along with the videos.
Keeping track of content is crucial. YouTube says 400 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. That’s about a century’s worth of video content added every day and a half -- making it impossible for YouTube to track their content in real time.