back to article Google plans to scrub 'inflammatory' and terror vids from youTube

Google's revealed its plans to remove terror-related content from YouTube and decided the investment community should hear about it before the rest of us. The plan emerged in a post first published in the Financial Times and later popped online, the company's revealed a four-point plan. As was the case in Facebook's anti- …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Nice idea but...

    There is one basic problem with any approach Chocolate Factory might use. Give a precise definition, particularly for cases where it is being discussed rather than promoted. As much as I would like to see it removed, I have issues with any system one might use because it is not easily defined.

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Re: Nice idea but...

      It's not really precise. You get a hint at what they are driving at when they say the BBC can post a video but not someone else using the same video to make a different point. If they don't approve of the views of the person reposting the video it can be removed based on the same content that was OK when the BBC used it.

      A good example of that would be the masked doctor video where the BBC change her words to say "Chemical Attack". The only reason this was discovered was it was old footage rehashed by the BBC. Someone used both BBC videos to show the BBC making fake news. If Google trust the BBC then they would need to remove videos made by others using the BBC footage. They can do this based on the principle that people showing the BBC to be liars must be extremists. The reasoning goes; if someone shows the BBC faked the "chemical attack" footage then they must be supporting Assad and therefore an extremist.

      1. User McUser

        Re: Nice idea but...

        A good example of that would be the masked doctor video where the BBC [changed] her words to say "Chemical Attack".

        This is the first I've heard of this - any links you care to share?

  2. frank ly

    Advice please.

    I live in the UK but I often like to watch certain types of videos on YouTube made by people who live in a distant country. They brandish high powered rifles and extol the virtues of owning and firing such weaponry, with idealistic glee. I find myself wanting to try this and I'm thinking about travelling to this country to join one of these groups. Will I still be allowed to watch these videos and am I in danger of being put on some kind of watch list or having my passport confiscated?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Advice please.


    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Advice please.

      Bill Hickock, the Yankee Marshall, Internet Veteran etc I presume.

    3. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Advice please.

      @frank ly:

      Heck, bubba, ya'll be welcomed with open arms!

      As long as you're white, that is.

      1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

        Re: Advice please.

        obviously not a fan of Hank Strange then.

  3. Ole Juul

    about time

    No more Rickrolling then.

    1. DropBear

      Re: about time

      Wait, what? But I thought this was about those nasty jump scare videos! They seem to very much provoke terror in any "react to" vid I've seen and they sure do scare me...!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Decided the investment community should hear about it first"

    Probably they've been getting questions from analysts who keep reading the bad press Google and Facebook have been getting about making it easier for terrorists to connect and want to know what they're going to do. Not that the analysts care about stopping terrorism, they just want to stop the bad press. And Google just wants to stop analysts asking them hard questions, because if they can't give satisfactory answers, analysts may respond with downgrades that will jeopardize exec's stock options!

  5. Your alien overlord - fear me

    Why doesn't Google only allow certain users to upload possibly terrorist-flagged videos, like the BBC etc so home users i.e. actual/wannabe terrorists get their propaganda automatically removed?

    1. Wayland Bronze badge

      Google does not want to outright say that only the government propaganda machine of the BBC has the right to free speech but that is what they are driving at.

      Allowing possibly extremist videos to be published but denying people the ability to argue against them is along the same lines as only allowing the BBC a voice. Except they're choosing to allow the extremist's message to go unchallenged.

      An example would be not allowing people to air their thoughts on a hot news topic because they might be very different from the BBC or government. As is the case with the Towering Inferno. One chap said he thought it was arson and the video is on YouTube but the BBC only showed it live and after that removed it. Once the YouTube mods find it they will remove it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You can't be in the uk unless you are a rampantly extremist loony lefter or facisitic ukipper. BBC may have a touch of a faint, light, left of centre "liberal" bias but no more than that ..Given every government of either colour since thatcher has had at least one giant row with the beeb and all uk govs accuse the beeb of being biased against them, that would suggest they are doing their job right .. the beeb is clearly not a gov propoganda machine but telling you this if you are a breitbart/bannon/farage acolyte loon who thinks fox news is "fair and balance" will get me precisely nowhere :(

        (in the spirit of equality, same holds if you are mcdonnell/mason type momentum loon who ludicrously have been bashing the beeb for being biased against them too)

    2. lglethal Silver badge

      "Why doesn't Google only allow certain users to upload possibly terrorist-flagged Videos"

      Well unfortunately, the miscreant uploaders for some reason, dont flag their Videos up as being terrorism-related when they upload them. Those dastardly users not using the correct tags, what ever will we do?

      To be less flippant - Youtube exists because anyone can upload a Video from anywhere on to the site. If you started only allowing approved users do the uploads, Youtube would die pretty quickly. So dont expect Google to go down that route anytime soon.

      1. John Lilburne

        Those dastardly users not using the correct tags, what ever will we do?

        Hmmm. In order to get the videos watched don't they have to advertise them in some way, with tags or descriptions?

        Even if they are linking to them from elsewhere can't Google etc (who claim to know everything about everything) detect that YT video aaabbbccc is being linked to from sites glorifying in the death of members of group QQQQ.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Context is a step in the right direction but the problem is also one of perspective. For example to many colonists George Washington was hero of the revolution. The British however had a somewhat different opinion at the time.

  7. scrubber

    Can we see the guidelines...

    ...and do the government have a say in it?

    i.e. is it state censorship enabled by a corporation (sure there's a word for that) or is it a profit maximising decision?

  8. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Iraq redux

    Fortunately governments never encourage the publication of videos extolling the virtues of taking a war to a distant land, so Google won't have to worry about deleting gun camera videos or propaganda clips of triumphant celebrations on the deck of an aircraft carrier (since no self-respecting terrorist would ever use an aircraft carrier to kill innocent civilians).

    1. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

      Re: Iraq redux

      because the Official News Organ Of Record is publishing those videos, silly! so it Can't Be Terrorism!


  9. Nimby

    all large internet companies need to at least be seen to do more

    SEEN to do more. Right. Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Unfortunately, I am sure that is exactly how it will go. "Oh, look how much we are doing!"

    Meanwhile, what is the point of all of these "secret" government projects to build supercomputers to monitor everything and scan for keywords blah blah blah if we start preventing malfeasance? If Bob From Accounting can't comment on Going Postal: Dos and Don'ts, then how can the "secret" government projects make their lists and check them twice? Maybe Google will need to give terrorists a backdoor so that the government still (allegedly) knows who is naughty and who is nice.

    1. Bob Hoskins

      Re: all large internet companies need to at least be seen to do more

      Interesting paradox. If there isn't already a name for it I propose the 'Nimby Perplexity'

  10. salamamba too

    Is it just me?

    Or does this translate to:

    We will still put advertising around the video, but we won't pay the poster.

    Sounds like another way of increasing revenue

  11. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Not through through

    If Jihadi Jonny's videos get deleted from YouTube, he'll just distribute them through some other site.

    If Northern Rail don't have a train to Liverpool, I'll try Transpennine Express. Or National Express Buses. Or MegaBus. Or rent a car. Or walk.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    it is what we say it is. And it is not what we say is not.

    If we are caught in egregious and blatant error, we will blame "AI" or "Machine Learning" or "the Algorithm".

    We will then focus maximum effort to make sure future *reports and allegations* of Paid or Politically Motivated Censorship are properly scrubbed to avoid future controversy.

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