YouTube bans Holocaust denial videos in policy reversal

Vox video producer Carlos Maza

Yes, the shooter's manifesto referred to many other alt-right memes, but YouTube content forms part of this extremely online and hate-filled language.

The announcement by the Google-owned video-sharing platform was the latest of a series of tech industry moves to filter out hateful and violent content, which have spurred calls for tougher regulation. Maza said he faced racist and homophobic harassment from well-known right-wing commentator Steven Crowder, who has almost four million YouTube subscribers and frequently attempts to "debunk" Maza's videos for Vox.

While it has always banned hate content in general, the site has allowed some specific kinds of harmful videos - such as those promoting Nazi ideology or claiming 9/11 did not happen - to continue being hosted on the site.

YouTube is regarded as one of many corporations that has given its trace a rainbow-themed makeover to tag toughen for LGBT rights - but, below the colourful veneer, a row has erupted over how the video-sharing place of abode enforces its hang hate-speech insurance policies.

Thousands of channels that do not quite break the rules will also be restricted by Youtube, by stopping recommending their video, which is known to reduce their views by 80%.

Unrelated to Mr Maza's dispute with Mr Crowder, YouTube published a blog on Wednesday pronouncing it had up to this level its hate speech policy.

YouTube also announced Wednesday it was "strengthening enforcement of our existing YouTube Partner Program policies". YouTube specifies that this includes videos that promote Nazism, as well as videos that deny well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary - both subjects of targeted hate speech on the platform.

"My work is raw coverage of activism and extremism that's necessary for critical analysis of big issues, documentaries and news", Fischer, who had over 27,000 followers on YouTube on Thursday night, told ABC News.

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In an official blog, the video streaming platform said it reviewed its policies on an ongoing basis.

The video streaming company says it has already made it more hard to find and promote such videos, but it's now removing them outright.

However YouTube said Crowder's feedback did no longer violate the policies because they had been sandwiched between "debate".

The new rules now target videos that discriminate based on "age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status".

In the video below, Crowder and his colleagues discussed the specious reasons YouTube gave for blocking his channel's ability to make money.

Regulators, advertisers and users have said that free speech should have its limits online, where conspiracies and hate travel fast and can radicalize viewers.

"Vox is still going to be pissed; they're not going to be happy with this", Crowder said in a video posted to his Twitter account after learning about YouTube's action. YouTube and Twitter had banned Jones in August 2018.

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