Should YouTube Allow Hate And Propaganda To Trend?
10 January 2017, 12:11
Here's why it's far from OK.
We're about to get on our soap box (what does that even mean?!) so get ready. Because one of the videos that appeared in YouTube's trending section recently and has now amassed over 180,000 views is all kinds of wrong and we've been left confused as to how it even got there.
Before we start, we're all for people having opinions but there's quite a bit we can't agree with like racism, homophobia or sexism as you'll soon see. YouTube is a platform for all and just because we don't agree with someone's strong opinions, doesn't mean we shouldn't let them have it. However, what we do disagree with is YouTube promoting what is essentially hatred and propaganda.
When a video titled "Feminist Want To Kill All Men And Male Babies" cropped up amongst the videos of Tati applying a gold face mask and endless football videos, something didn't ring right. The thumbnail of the video shows a woman with short blonde hair who, when you watch the video, speaks aggressively about wanting to kill male babies and men in general.
What's "interesting" about the video is that it's being used by a user to highlight- according to them- what feminism really is. The caption under the video reads: "This is what feminism preaches and feminists believe. Just look up on twitter #killallmen and you will see more feminists wanting men dead. This is the movement that tells you they're about "equality"."
The video is listed under "News and Politics". We've embedded the 43 second video below but note it contains strong language and language which some people may find upsetting.
Let's talk about the content of the video itself which is, clearly, all kinds of wrong and encourages murder. How is this allowed on YouTube let alone in the Trending section? Replace the words 'men' and 'male' with any race or sexuality and it suddenly seems much stronger and more problematic. Something which YouTube would no doubt take down quickly, let alone allow it to be used in the Trending section.
There are multiple versions of this video featuring the same woman across the platform and whilst we're all for freedom of speech, we're against encouraging murder.
The second issue lies in how this video is being used. Someone has uploaded this video and billed it as "what feminism is really about". The channel, which worryingly goes by the username 'A Muslim' but shows little true Muslim values at all, seems to use the video to want to promote their own belief that women are second class citizens.
If YouTube can allow such propaganda and even promote it to millions of users, what chance do we have as a community to fight against oppression? If YouTube can not spot right away that this video is damaging to both men, women and feminism as a whole then how can we trust the platform not to promote further hatred and be used as a way for those with bad intentions to fester their levels of hate?
We discussed recently about the misery that can be caused when your video lands up in YouTube Trending and whilst we agree the section is vastly positive on a whole, it's lacking in something or someone who can flag content which goes against the community.
What the evidence of this video in the Trending section means is that we can easily all go and upload material which doesn't belong to us, twist its messaging and turn it into anything we want? Does this mean we can upload a video of Obama saying "I love it" and claim he's talking about and endorsing our site? Does it mean extremist groups can take any content they like, paint a sickening picture and use it to promote their fight? All whilst knowing YouTube will support this?!
Why should videos like this be promoted to millions when there are so many incredible content creators out there making original, funny, entertaining, educational content?
We'd love to know your thoughts on the issue and what YouTube could do to move forward.