(New York, NY) – The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) commends the U.K. parliamentarians of the Home Affairs Select Committee for exposing YouTube’s gross failure to remove videos from the banned far right group National Action from its platform 15 months after being reviewed by moderators.
This is a systemic issue, not an isolated example. Google-owned YouTube similarly could not explain at a U.S. Senate hearing in January why an ISIS bomb-making video viewed by Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi, who killed 22 people in May 2017, was still on YouTube almost two months after the attack and has been found on Google platforms at least 11 times since. In both the U.S. and U.K., the tech giant relies on spin and PR-tactics rather than providing clear explanations about their technical solutions to combatting extremism online.
Governments and advertisers must continue to demand more than promises from YouTube and the tech industry. After countless hearings, apologies, and pledges, it is time that serious resources are dedicated to the permanent removal of radicalizing, horrific content online and Google’s talented engineers and developers, rather than public relations professionals, are finally called to answer the tough questions.