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YouTube 'Too Slow' Taking Action Against Hate Videos

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has called on YouTube to remove hateful material that propagates Holocaust denial.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 8/14/2012, 11:52 AM

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Reuters

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) has called on YouTube to remove hateful material relating to Australian Holocaust denier Fredrick Toben that has been uploaded to the site, The Australian Jewish News (AJN) reported.

ECAJ executive director Peter Wertheim told AJN that while three specific videos had been removed, “the same content remains online on YouTube, either in its original form or with a warning preceding it.”

“If YouTube doesn’t act on it, we will,” Wertheim said.

One of the posts, titled “Six Million? The Persecution of Fredrick Toben,” features footage from Nazi death camps and compares the veracity of the Holocaust to “the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy,” AJN reported.  

While the site warns that the video has been “identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate,” there is an option for viewers to prevent the notice from reappearing on their next viewing.

The Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) contacted YouTube after it had documented severe hate activity in cyberspace and noted that on one day, a user uploaded 1710 videos, “the vast majority of which were blatant hate speech,” according to the organization’s CEO, Dr Andre Oboler.

While Oboler was encouraged that YouTube closed the user’s accounts within 24 hours of receiving an advance copy of OHPI’s report, he was disheartened that the site had not responded to a flood of viewers flagging the material as “racist.”

“If it takes YouTube over a month to spot such a user, yet the user is able to upload over a thousand hateful videos a day, inevitably YouTube will be unable to keep pace with the spread of hate,” Oboler told AJN.

“OHPI is working on ways to improve the processes, technology and systems so that the mass spread of hate can be better prevented,” he said.

A spokesman for Google in the US told AJN that YouTube’s community guidelines prohibit hate speech. “We routinely remove comments and videos flagged by our users under those guidelines and terminate the accounts of users who repeatedly break the rules,” he said.