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Britain First

Far-right Britain First not removed by YouTube despite being reported for hate speech

Videos by far-right Britain First leader, Paul Golding, have not been removed by YouTube, despite the fact they have been reported for hateful and abusive content.

In September, Scram News reported five videos published by the far-right leader. However, over a month later, none of these videos have been removed and they have been viewed by a combined total of some 9,000 people.

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Videos allowed by YouTube include one entitled “Giving the police in Rotherham a well deserved hard time!” in which Golding and his followers shout “Paedo police off our streets” at policemen.

In another video, “Combating illegal migrant crossings!” members of Britain First harass migrants and the people helping them. They say in the video that refugees should not be given asylum and that “for all we know they are all terrorists.” They also lament the “invasion of our sovereign territory” and say “we are going to intercept them and deter them from coming.”

These videos remain on the platform despite the fact that YouTube has a specific hate speech policy that mitigates against this type of content. Its policy says that YouTube moderators will remove content promoting “violence or hatred” against groups based on attributes including race, immigration status and nationality – and that it does not allow the promotion of conspiracy theories or the dehumanisation of people. It also says that it does not allow threats, adding:

“We treat implied calls for violence as real threats”.

The platform has also said it has removed 4 million channels for violating guidelines and that its automatic flagging system means that 18.5% of content in breach of its rules is removed before it is seen by others.

Nevertheless, threatening videos have remained on Golding’s personal channel, which has 1,100 subscribers. One video is called “Turn up at Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house and we will turn up at your house,” which, as you can imagine, contains blatantly threatening language.

Scram News first contacted YouTube about the inception of Golding’s channel in July, fearing that it would become a vessel for hateful content, not least because he leads an openly Islamophobic party and has been arrested for assault in the past.

In response, a spokesperson said: “YouTube has clear policies that prohibit hate speech and we remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us.” However, YouTube has so far failed to take action against Golding.

One video, “LGBT road crossings near mega mosques” has been seen 648 times and counting. Golding calls LGBT flags “crazy” and “nonsense” and claims Muslims in a nearby mosque would probably be “fizzing” because of their presence in the town. Despite displaying both homophobia and Islamophobia, the video is still online.

And this is not the first time that Scram News has exposed hate speech on social media.

Facebook is rife with Islamophobia, to the extent that the company actually profits from hate adverts.

Meanwhile, non-mainstream platforms have allowed the far-right to amass an audience, despite being marginalised by larger outlets.

This is amid the backdrop of the police warning that the far-right is the fastest-growing terrorist threat in the UK.

Speaking to Wired in April, Rebecca Lewis an online extremism researcher, said: “Hate speech has been growing on YouTube.”

She added:

“YouTube monetises influence for everyone, regardless of how harmful their belief systems are. The platform, and its parent company, have allowed racist, misogynistic and harassing content to remain online – and in many cases to generate advertising revenue – as long as it does not explicitly include slurs.”

Since July, some videos from Golding’s channel have appeared to disappear. Scram News contacted YouTube to ask them if they had been removed due to hate speech, but YouTube said that they couldn’t share “specific details” about the videos on Golding’s channel.

Without a transparent commitment to removing online hate, Golding’s videos will remain, with the potential to radicalise those who have the misfortune of viewing them.