At the start of Pride Month, online groups took to social media to protest YouTube’s decision to continue to allow homophobic content and homophobic slurs to be easily accessible and shared on the platform. While YouTube still allows certain high-profile creators to release videos with this kind of hate, the company is cracking down on another hate group, mainly supremacists.
While the policy is new, the problem that YouTube is trying to fix is hardly new at all. The company has been under fire from human rights groups for years now, as the platform frequently, and consistently, allows hate groups to distribute media that promotes their particular race or group over another. A new policy came out on Wednesday, which calls out neo-Nazi content, dangerous conspiracy theories, and other hate-filled media. A few examples include denying that the Holocaust ever happened, and the Sandy Hook school shooting. Both of these were topics big from Alex Jones, which YouTube itself helped to make popular.
In a prepared statement YouTube told users, “Over the past few years, we’ve been investing in the policies, resources and products needed to live up to our responsibility and protect the YouTube community from harmful content. This work has focused on four pillars: removing violative content, raising up authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators.” The company continued, “Thanks to these investments, videos that violate our policies are removed faster than ever and users are seeing less borderline content and harmful misinformation. As we do this, we’re partnering closely with lawmakers and civil society around the globe to limit the spread of violent extremist content online.”
YouTube outlined the new policy in the statement saying, “Today, we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a 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.”
YouTube maid it clear that some content will remain, though only in certain circumstances. The company explained that “some videos could remain up because they discuss topics like pending legislation, aim to condemn or expose hate, or provide analysis of current events.” YouTube also stated that it “will take time” for the system to fully start censoring these videos, and it could take “several months”.
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