YouTube to Take Action on Terrorist Videos

Following criticism of its failure to remove terrorist content, the video-sharing site YouTube plans a new system that will get terror videos offline more quickly. According to U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner, YouTube sent him a letter describing a new system that will allow viewers to label videos as promoting terrorism.

The site currently allows viewers to flag videos as inappropriate, however, there is no distinction made between videos that promote terrorism or violence and those that are inappropriate for other reasons.

Critics have accused the site of hosting thousands of videos created by various terrorist groups, and of making too little effort to track and remove incitement.

Representative Weiner praised YouTube for moving toward faster removal of terrorist content, but said the move was still not enough. YouTube itself must take responsibility for blocking terrorists, and not simply leave it to viewers, he said.

YouTube has argued that it cannot screen all content uploaded to the site, due to the volume of uploading – according to YouTube, more than 20 hours’ worth of videos are added each minute. However, some have countered that the site could do more to block pro-terror users, or to automatically flag videos using certain keywords.

Parliamentarians from around the world discussed terrorists’ use of the services provided by major Internet companies such as YouTube and Google in a conference earlier this week on fighting anti-Semitism. Canadian MP John Mann said the parliamentarians would try to get the companies to move more quickly on jihadist propaganda.


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