Last week YouTube announced new rules around hate speech on prohibiting videos promoting Nazi ideology or denying the existence of the Holocaust or other well-documented violent events.
Thousands of channels are expected to be shut down. But now multiple teachers are complaining that videos uploaded to educate people about Nazi history have been deleted, the Guardian reported.
Hate speech, and how to police it, is an issue that social media platforms have grappled with for some time.
The issue illustrates how fraught and complex the balance is, and highlights the risk of unintended consequences when policies and algorithms are tweaked.
It is also a reminder of just how much power big tech companies have as gatekeepers of the material we consume online.
However, this complexity and hard balance should not excuse YouTube, a company owned by Google, of its serious responsibilities. The New York Times in an article revealed that its recommendation engine (which drives 70% of all views) has made it easier for pedophiles to find videos of children.
The decision by YouTube to crack down on what it terms as “hate speech” came in the light of a controversy that erupted last week when a conservative YouTube content creator named Steven Crowder was completely demonetised after a left-wing self-proclaimed gay Latino activist/journalist Carlos Maza who works for Vox accused him of targeted harassment.
YouTube acknowledged that even though the conservative creator had not violated any of its terms of policy it proceeded to deprive him of all his income generated from his channel.