(New York, NY) – Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Executive Director David Ibsen today released the following statement after Google-owned YouTube removed extremist content from the neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division from its platform. The removal came only after CEP released findings showing that Atomwaffen Division had been able to operate for months on the video website.
“Once again, YouTube’s reactionary removal of extremism from their platform comes only after CEP did their job for them by flagging content that violates their own Terms of Service. Despite Atomwaffen Division’s clear history of radicalization and calls for terror and violence, they were allowed to upload their propaganda to YouTube for months on end and with impunity.
“It defies belief that YouTube continues to outsource responsibility for enforcement of its own Terms of Service to the public, given its supposed commitment to user safety. It is only reasonable to assume that given Google’s astronomical annual revenue of $110 billion, that they could find such clearly dangerous and prohibited content on their own platforms without the help of small NGOs like CEP.
“CEP will continue to highlight Atomwaffen Division and other extremist groups in the hopes that YouTube – and other tech companies – will finally understand that they are failing in their efforts to proactively address online extremism.”
On Wednesday, January 23 CEP distributed research indicating that the propaganda works of neo-Nazi group Atomwaffen Division were widely available on YouTube under a user named “Chanz”. Within 24 hours of CEP’s release, YouTube removed the channel from its website, citing “multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy prohibiting hate speech.” The channel had previously been allowed to remain online for two months, uploading 15 videos that totaled nearly 7,000 views in the process.