YouTube blocks historical archives of World War II

Censorship News

The Guardian is reporting that YouTube, in its attempt to crack down on hate speech, is deleting videos of Nazi history, much to the consternation of teachers who use it as a resource. YouTube has launched a new policy this week, in which it announced:

” … we’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. This would include, for example, videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology, which is inherently discriminatory. Finally, we will remove content denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place. “

This caused some great backlash against YouTube, especially after people began receiving notices that their videos had been taken down for promoting ‘hate speech.’ YouTube responded that “the company used a combination of technology and people to enforce the guidelines, and encouraged individuals to provide context to clips uploaded for educational purposes rather than simply uploading raw material.”

So much for censorship and AI. We may ask three questions here:

  1. Does out current technology have dependable abilities to make decisions of that sort?
  2. What really is hate speech? Can it truly be defined?
  3. Who makes the decision to censor or not to censor, even if human?