YouTube looking to limit extremist content, including 9/11-Israel conspiracies

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YouTube looking to limit extremist content, including 9/11-Israel conspiracies

Video giant is changing its algorithm to try and tackle hateful content which promotes 'blatantly false claims', including about Jews having a role in the 2001 terror attack


Video-sharing website YouTube is experimenting with an algorithm in the UK to tackle extremist content such as that alleging Israeli involvement in 9/11.

YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki said the company was aiming to slow the spread of videos making “blatantly false claims” about issues beloved of conspiracy theorists, such as the 9/11 attacks, flat-earth ideas and supposed miracle cures for serious illnesses.

Plans for a UK roll-out follow a successful US trial in which the ability of such “borderline content” to trend was greatly reduced by halving the power of recommendations.

She said the move was focused on videos that “could misinform users in harmful ways, such as videos promoting a phoney miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat, or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11”.

A YouTube search for ‘9/11 Jewish’ or ‘9/11 Israel’ currently throws up videos such as Chris Bollyn’s 75-minute lecture, viewed 159,000 times, in which he alleges that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks.

In it, he talks about “4,000 Israelis who were supposed to be at work that day at the World Trade Center who didn’t show up” because they were “warned” in a secret Hebrew messaging system.

The site also hosts a 2010 speech at the United Nations by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, viewed 1.8 million times, in which he said “segments within the US government orchestrated the [9/11] attack… in order to save the Zionist regime”.

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