In March 2017, YouTube was criticized for placing advertisements next to videos that were considered disturbing expressions of hate, including racist and anti-Semitic videos. Large brands like AT&T, HSBC, Starbucks, Volkswagen and Walmart, pulled their ad campaigns from the media giant as they did not want to be associated with such ugly videos.
The Internet is rife with extremist videos, but Google has had a difficult time using algorithms to flag them.
Consider the channel FirstOneThrough, which posted over a dozen videos to COMBAT the hatred of Israel. The titles of its video series was deliberately called “I hate Israel” to counter the arguments against Israel:
- I hate Israel – Racism
- I hate Israel – Zionism
- I hate Israel – Murderers
- I hate Israel – Right of Return
- I hate Israel – East Jerusalem
- I hate Israel – Security Wall
- I hate Israel – Gaza Blockade
- I hate Israel – Christian Persecution
- I hate Israel – Assassinations
- I hate Israel – I Don’t Hate Jews
- I hate Israel – I wish it would Go Away
- I hate Israel – The UN Told Me So
- I hate Israel – Displacing People
- I hate Israel – Wars
The videos were headed with “I hate Israel” to CONFRONT hatred and push the videos with actual evil bias off of the front search pages. But YouTube has a hard time discerning the content of the videos and has labeled each video as “Not advertiser-friendly.”
FirstOneThrough does not seek profit from any of its videos, so the removal of advertisements is not a source of concern. However, the action underscores the difficulty of algorithms to distinguish between a simple phrase and the broader discussion in the videos.
In the meantime, supporters of Israel should continue to watch and share the videos in the series to not only become further educated about the incredible democracy, but to push anti-Israel videos off of the first page of the YouTube search screen.
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