The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Tuesday welcomed the signing by leading internet service providers Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft of a European Union code of conduct aimed at fighting the proliferation of hate speech on the internet, but voiced skepticism about the commitment of these firms to effectively police their platforms.
WJC CEO Robert Singer said: “YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and others already have clear guidelines in place aimed at preventing the spread of offensive content, yet they have so far utterly failed to properly implement their own rules.
Singer recently wrote to Google Inc., which owns the world’s largest online video service YouTube, to complain about the persistent failure of YouTube to delete neo-Nazi songs that glorify the Holocaust or incite to murder from its platform.
“Tens of thousands of despicable video clips continue to be made available although their existence has been reported to YouTube and despite the fact that they are in clear violation of the platform’s own guidelines prohibiting racist hate speech.
"Nonetheless, YouTube gives the impression that it has been cracking down on such content. Alas, the reality is that so far it hasn't. We expect that real steps are taken by YouTube, as well as other social media platforms, that go beyond well-meaning announcements,” said Singer.
The WJC CEO nonetheless praised the European Commission’s code of conduct to combat online racism, terrorism and cyber hate. "This is a timely initiative, and we hope all internet service providers will adhere to the code," said Singer.
The guidelines require companies to review the majority of flagged hate speech within 24 hours and remove it, if necessary.