The online video platform YouTube expanded Wednesday its hate speech policy to ban white supremacist content, such as the promotion of Nazi ideology and Holocaust denial.
The Google-owned company said in a statement that the move reflects “a tougher stance” toward extremist and terrorist material. YouTube applied the policy with immediate effect, which is expected to result in the ban of thousands of accounts and channels.
The new guidelines prohibit “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.”
YouTube specifically outlawed videos that deny the murder of six million Jews during World War II and targets content that denies well-documented violent events, such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut in 2012, in which 20 children and six teachers were killed.
Following the New Zealand mosque attacks in Christchurch, videos with clips of the shooting were widely uploaded to YouTube, with their authors celebrating the indiscriminate killing of Muslim worshipers and glorifying the perpetrator’s extremist ideology.
A hate preacher, thought to be the mastermind behind the deadly Easter suicide bombings in Sri Lanka that killed 253 civilians, also had numerous sermons featured on the platform.
Jonathan Greenblatt, the Chief Executive of the Anti-Defamation League, welcomed the policy change but warned more work needed to be done.
“While this is an important step forward, this move alone is insufficient and must be followed by many more changes from YouTube and other tech companies to adequately counter the scourge of online hate and extremism,” Greenblatt said in a statement.
In March, social media giant Facebook cracked down on white nationalist and white separatist content on its platform, as well as its sister company Instagram. Right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan were both affected by the ban.
The Qatari state-controlled broadcaster Al Jazeera came under fire last month after its Arabic channel posted a video that called into question the “truth of the Holocaust,” which was shared on several social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. It was later removed.
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