Expressen has, on several occasions now, revealed how Google, who owns You Tube, is helping to circulate hateful and violent material – instances where there are even convictions for inciting ethnic prejudice or assault.
After Expressen, last week, shined a spotlight on the antisemitic list charting almost 80 Swedish Jews which appeared at the top of Google searches for “Swedish Jews” (svenska judar) and “Jews in Sweden” (judar i Sverige), the tech giant began reacting. At first they were reluctant to comment on the individual website, but then they removed the search paths from around 20 of the names on the list. Then finally, this weekend, they shut down the search path altogether.
The reason Google gave for shutting down the search path, however, was not antisemitism but potential copyright infringement.
Brutally antisemitic film on You Tube
Unfortunately, hate material being circulated by Google and its video platform You Tube doesn’t stop there.
When Expressen ran a search for “the Jew” (juden in Swedish), the results on You tube included brutally antisemitic film ”The Eternal Jew”. The film, which was made in Nazi Germany, premièred in 1940. The Jews in the film are depicted as evil and greedy – and parasitic. The film ends with a speech by Adolf Hitler and parading Nazi troops.
The antisemitic film is being circulated by several You Tube users, both as short clips and in its entirety.
Holocaust deniers are mass-circulated on You Tube
Also being mass-circulated on You Tube are several videos about Holocaust denial, among them clips from notorious Holocaust deniers like David Irving and David Cole.
Another film available on You Tube is ”The Greatest Story Never Told”, which praises Adolf Hitler and denies that gas chambers ever existed. The film’s creator, Dennis Wise, has taken part in things like ethnocentric podcast Red Ice – an interview that is also available on You Tube.
“I haven’t found any evidence of mass murder. I can’t deny some mistreatment would’ve gone on. It would have been naive not to think so.”
Holocaust denier Dennis Wise is grateful for You Tube
Wise also said that he found the material for his film on sites like You Tube:
“Because of the Internet, with You Tube and various other websites ... If you know what you’re looking for – everything in that documentary, it’s all out there. It was a bit like scattered, it wasn’t put together in any way or form.”
Wise was also grateful for the mass-circulation on You Tube, because he was initially worried that the film would be removed from the platform.
“I know that, at any time, they could have been taken down. Luckily there was enough time, so a lot of people hosted them around the world, so I was quite pleased about that.”
Weyler: ”You Tube has a responsibility”
Svante Weyler, publisher and chairman of the Swedish Committee Against Antisemitism, believes that You Tube has a responsibility for what is being circulated via their platform.
“You Tube has a responsibility for everything on You Tube, as their business concept revolves around them having material there.”
“The fact that they make a ridiculous amount of money from this technology means that they can be held accountable. They’re chipping away at my moral fibre,” he says.
Weyler suggests that people wanting to circulate lies are being given the opportunity to both reach a wider audience and to resemble legitimate videos, thanks to platforms like You Tube:
“The internet offers much simpler technology, that’s why You Tube is expanding so fast, because the technology is so convenient. Something everyone thinks is so great also turns out to be a great opportunity for people wanting to use it for negative purposes. You can’t just talk about the one side without seeing the other.”
“The only one who doesn’t seem to hear the bells ringing about this kind of insight is Swedish Google. International Google appears to have come a little further,” says Weyler.
Never investigated the You Tube-link
Expressen’s investigations also revealed that links to You Tube clips could be a way for Swedish neo-Nazis to circulate antisemitic propaganda – without being investigated by the Chancellor of Justice (justitiekanslern, JK) for inciting ethnic prejudice.
In 2014, the Chancellor of Justice investigated Nordfront, a website with a Swedish publishing licence run by neo-Nazi organisation NMR. One of their articles contained a link to ”The Eternal Jew”. But the Chancellor of Justice never investigated the part relating to the actual You Tube link.
The Chancellor of Justice wrote:
“The reported video clip has however been made available through a link to the You Tube website (www.youtube.com). Consequently, it has been possible for someone other than the people running Nordfront to alter the contents of the video clip. Distribution of the video clip does not therefore fall within the scope of the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen).”
Google: ”We implement a tougher standard”
However, Eva-Maria Svensson, professor of jurisprudence and whose specialist subjects include freedom of speech, suggests that there should be scope for seeing a link to someone else’s You Tube clip as part of a declaration that could be considered inciting ethnic prejudice:
“They (Nordfront - Ed.) have a Swedish publishing licence for this website. So they are responsible for the content there. But if they add a link to something that someone else is responsible for, then you can understand the Chancellor of Justice’s reasoning. But you could also see it as part of NMR’s opinion.”
“It’s hard to say that the Chancellor of Justice is wrong, as they are the ones who interpret the law,” says Svensson.
Google Sweden’s head of communications Farshad Shadloo wrote in a comment to Expressen:
“We remove videos in cases where they violate our policies or local legislation. In certain cases, where videos are not illegal or breaking our terms and conditions, but still contain extremist and hateful content that has been flagged by users as potentially violating You Tube’s policies, we implement a tougher standard. Some of the functions have been deactivated for the clips, but they are still there, behind a window showing a warning text, is not recommended, cannot earn money from, and will not have key functions like comments, recommended clips and liking.”
Some of the films that are being spread on You Tube
Holocaust denier David Cole in Auschwitz.
The antisemitic film ”The Eternal Jew” from Nazi Germany.
”The Greatest Story Never Told" – praising Adolf Hitler.
”Hitler's War" by Holocaust denier David Irving.