In an attempt to crack down on white nationalist content, YouTube removes videos from historians that document the rise of fascism or feature archival footage of Adolf Hitler.
History teachers in the UK have reportedly had their YouTube channels deleted after uploading material featuring Adolf Hitler, The Guardian reports.
Scott Allsop, who runs the MrAllsopHistory revision website, told The Guardian that "access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort." Another teacher, Richard Jones-Nerzic, had his channel censored after uploading old documentaries about the rise of Nazism.
Some of his videos now come with a warning that there will be offensive material featured, while others have been deleted completely.
This comes after YouTube this week announced that it would take a stricter approach to hate speech and white supremacist content, and block content that alleges "the superiority of a group" over another to "justify violence, discrimination, segregation, or exclusion."
YouTube has recently been criticized for its lackluster approach to hate speech on the platform. The crackdown on hate speech and white supremacist content came after YouTube declined to delete homophobic videos targeting a Vox reporter.
YouTube has since pledged to take a "hard look" at its harassment policy.
Many social media sites have repeatedly failed to adequately deal with controversial content: in 2016, Facebook came under fire for removing images of a famous historical photo featuring a nude 9-year-old girl running to safety from napalm bombs in South Vietnam. The company's algorithm and content managers failed to tell the difference between child pornography and documentary photographs.
Twitter also had to change its policies in order to deal with the amount of hateful content on its platform and the seemingly arbitary approach it takes to reported tweets.
The difficulty comes partly because algorithms—which tech companies are reliant on to manage content on their platforms—are unable to adequately define the context in which content appears, but also because some companies are unwilling to provide better working conditions or support for human moderators. As such, the result is often that acceptable content is unfairly taken down or dangerous videos slip through the net.
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