Apr 9, 2019

YouTube coverage of hate speech hearing marred by hate speech

Photo: Florian Gaertner/Getty Images

Anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments and other hateful speech caused YouTube to disable its official live chat for a Tuesday House Judiciary Committee hearing on the role of social media in the rise of white nationalism and related hate crimes.

The big picture: These YouTube comments underscore Big Tech's difficulty in policing what happens on their platforms. Comments continued in unofficial live chats even after YouTube disabled its official stream of the hearing. During the hearing, representatives from Facebook and Google discussed how the companies are addressing white nationalist content, such as the real-time videos of the Christchurch massacre.

In a statement to Axios, a YouTube spokesperson said:

"Hate speech has no place on YouTube. We’ve invested heavily in teams and technology dedicated to removing hateful comments and videos and we take action on them when flagged by our users. Due to the presence of hateful comments, we disabled comments on the livestream of today’s House Judiciary Committee hearing."

Go deeper: Facebook to ban white nationalist and separatist content

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
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Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.