The World Jewish Congress welcomes the YouTube media platform’s decision to remove the official channels of several White Supremacists including neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, as well as a central channel linked to Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, a French extreme political activist notorious for spreading antisemitic hate speech, Holocaust denial, and violent ideology.
These are just some of the many contentious YouTube channels used for promoting extremist ideologies and spreading conspiracy myths against Jews, on both the far-right and far-left; most of these repeat offenders can still use the platform on different channels, as long as their material is not in violation of YouTube’s standards.
While there is still a long road ahead before hate speech is eliminated from social media, the WJC sees YouTube’s decision to take severe action against these unapologetically antisemitic channels as an encouraging step toward reducing the harm caused of some of its most violent offenders.
A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement provided to the TechCrunch website, following removal of the six White Supremacists, including those linked to Duke and Spencer: “We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies. After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”
The World Jewish Congress welcomes the efforts being made by YouTube to block users who violate its policies and serves as a members of the platform’s Trusted Flagger Program, in which WJC analysts scour the web to pinpoint the sources of hate speech and report offenders for violation and penalization.
The WJC urges YouTube to continue to thoroughly monitor the content uploaded by individuals whose official channels it has reasonably chosen to ban and block the user permanently should any further violations take place. Other social media platforms would do well to follow YouTube’s lead on this matter and ensure that offensive users who perpetuate hate speech, historical revisionism, and antisemitism are not only flagged for individual violations, but also banned from managing their own pages on these platforms altogether.