Google’s Youtube has begun removing extremist videos, even if they do not show violence or blatantly mention hate.
Instead Youtube will remove videos that feature people and groups that have been defined as terrorists by the US or British governments a result from government pressure in the US.
This is a welcome sign to governments and human rights groups that have pressed for years for Youtube to remove extremist videos to prevent the spread of hate speech propaganda, however some free speech advocates are concerned that this policy could easily spread to groups who simply just oppose government policies.
Google General Counsel Kent Walker said in a blog post, “We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.”
The new policy does not affect news clips or educational videos about terrorism.
But Youtube has always had a serious issues between distinguishing the two resulting in news and educational outlets having to overlay extremist commentary to get around censors.
And governments have had long historical precedents of who they call a terrorist.
After all the Dali Lama, Ghandi, Mandela and Martin Luther King were all called extremists or terrorists by their respective governments.