Google hands UK government Youtube takedown privileges

Google hands UK government Youtube takedown privileges

Government can tag reams of content for inspection
Fri Mar 14 2014, 13:15
The UK Home Office

VIDEO PUBLISHER Google has given the British government “special permission” to flag swathes of Youtube content for possible removal.

According to the Financial Times, Google has handed over “super flagger” rights to the UK Home Office (paywalled) to help it deal with extremism. This means that rather than have to pick out individual videos and ask Google to remove them, it will be able to tag many at a time and ask for them all to be 86’d.

Google has not yet responded to our request for more information, but confirmed the arrangement to the Financial Times and told it that ultimately what is removed will be its decision.

UK security and immigration minister James Brokenshire told the Financial Times that the material is not always going to be illegal, but will be unsavoury. He added that it would not be “the sort of material that people would want to see or receive”.

In a statement provided to the INQUIRER, Brokenshire said that around 30,000 pieces of material have been removed in the last four years.

“Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas. The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) has already taken down more than 29,000 pieces of illegal terrorist online content since February 2010,” he said.

“Through proposals from the Extremism Taskforce announced by the Prime Minister in November, we will look to further restrict access to material which is hosted overseas – but illegal under UK law – and help identify other harmful content to be included in family-friendly filters.”

Youtube confirmed that it will remove content that incites violence, and said that while it already does that internally it was glad to offer outsiders mass-flagging tools.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy on Youtube towards content that incites violence. Our community guidelines prohibit such content and our review teams respond to flagged videos around the clock, routinely removing videos that contain hate speech or incitement to commit violent acts,” it told the Financial Times in a statement.

“To increase the efficiency of this process, we have developed an invite-only program that gives users who flag videos regularly tools to flag content at scale.”

Last year Google distanced itself from the UK, and claimed that as a US company it did not have play by UK privacy rules.

8 responses to “Google hands UK government Youtube takedown privileges

  1. Ah, Brokenshire, a notorious petty fascist whose nasty little fingers can often be found in these sorts of pies.

    I see that “legality” doesn’t matter, they’re just proudly declaring a carte blanche on anything “unsavoury”, a deliciously vague word like “inappropriate”.

    At least in the old days of the Obscene Publications Act, there had to be some kind of court case. Terribly inefficient, not at all part of the modern way of doing things. The government knows best. Why on Earth would it need rules, or proper procedures?

    He added that it would not be “the sort of material that people would want to see or receive”.

    Well they won’t watch it then, will they, Herr Brokenshire?

    Of course what he really means is that it’s not “the sort of material that people like me would want others to see or receive”.

    This is the basic problem with the British political system. It gives power to sad little fucks like Brokenshire; people who, in the free market, would have so little utility that minimum wage would exclude them from the marketplace. Makes me weep, so it does.

  2. Not good for democracy then is it folks?

    This cruel, wretched government of ours will now rest easy all summer-holiday long knowing full well that their gravy-train is not going to be de-railed after all.

    Should UKIP now manage to do reasonably well this May, then any subsequent useful publicity drummed-up during clashes with the EU, will not be allowed to be seen. In addition, the run-up to the 2015 election will once again, be dominated throughout the entire media by the Tories and Labourites.

    It does seems to me to be a clear case of America wishing to, and being allowed to, interfere in European politics. Utube’s sudden about-face has come about a little too soon to be convincing.

    Is it possible I wonder – technically and/or legally – for another outfit to compete directly against utube? What choices are left now to those who want to fight against modern Marxism? Fighting censorship with truth unvarnished sounds good but how can the word go out when the truth is kept hidden by threats of violence?

    At the moment, the government, even though it’s powers are already more than the ordinary voter ever granted to them, really does hold each and every high card.

    Basing a utube competitor in a boat offshore (Radio Caroline springs to mind), or perhaps in a politically in-correct Switzerland, might be a way forward. Should Oskar Freysinger be persuaded to take on the role of Herr Director, Europe might at long last take a turn for the better. He’s not the sort of person I’d have chosen 20 years ago but at least he does put his glasses on when he reads and opens his mind when he takes the family out for walk.

  3. There are other video sites, such as DailyMotion.

    The problem is that the government has, by degrees, arrogated to itself the power, over the past decade or so, of being able to arbitrarily block any website it so chooses to save us from kiddiepornandterrorismandstuff and to our shame as a people, we have done nothing to stop them.

    I sometimes honestly feel that we do not deserve a future. Our heritage as a bolshy, awkward mob to rule who governments trod on the toes of with caution is long extinguished; we are a bunch of compliant idiots. As such, perhaps we deserve all we get. Even the rule of nincompoops like Brokenshire.

    • It’s been done on purpose Ian, specifically, to us, to us alone and deliberately. It’s because we are exactly what you said we are, and so WE have to go first to the firing-squad wall. …

      That’s, er, the scenario that they, the GramscoFabiaNazis, would _like_ . But they know it’s not the one they’d get it they tried it outright: they’d find that we and they would be changing places fast.

      The GramscoFabiaNazis would like to be able to pride themselves for being efficient and cost-effective people. They’d really like to put every classical-liberal-minimal-statist up against a wall and just shoot [it], as a way of “people-focussed, strategic, forward-looking management of human resources for the people and also for hard-working-children-and-families, going forward” – just as Pol Pot did. But with the English they know the can’t get away with it quite that simply, so they boil us as frogs.

  4. Get a server in Russia or ChIndia, then you’ll be OK. Western govts are still afraid of those guys because they have proper nukes, and also space progs.

    In a few years, we could include ChIndoBrazilia, because the Brazilians are not going to sit about waiting for nukes either. They have an entire rain-forest to raze and then dig under still, and I believe that the Brazilians can now send up rockets.