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YouTube coverage of hate speech hearing marred by hate speech

In this image, the smartphone apps for Facebook and Youtube are displayed next to each other.
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