YouTube has announced it will ban videos which incite hatred or try to deny proven events, in an effort to reinforce its hate speech and misleading content policies.
According to a post on the YouTube’s official blog, these changes are being made in order for the site to ‘live up to’ its ‘responsibility and protect the YouTube community from harmful content.’
So far, YouTube has focused on ‘removing violative content, raising up authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators’. Now, however, they are going further to update their policies on hateful content.
According to today’s blog post, June 5, members of the YouTube team have been ‘in consultation with dozens of experts in subjects like violent extremism, supremacism, civil rights, and free speech’, in order to review their stance on hate speech and supremacist content.
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.
This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory.
Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.
The site added that ‘context matters’, so some videos may stay up if they ‘aim to condemn or expose hate, or provide analysis of current events’.
YouTube is also aiming to limit ‘recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation, such as videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, or claiming the Earth is flat.’
As a result of these changes, more ‘authoritative’ content will be raised up and given prominence in recommendations on the site.
The video and music platform will also be implementing stricter guidelines on channels which ‘repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies’, taking away their monetisation features, or suspending their accounts altogether.
The openness of YouTube’s platform has helped creativity and access to information thrive. It’s our responsibility to protect that, and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.