YouTube must crack down on videos pushing violence & knife crime

07 August 2017

The Mayor is urging tech and social media companies, including Youtube and its parent company, Google, to take tough action to crack down on videos that encourage gang violence and knife crime.

YouTube has refused to take down four violent videos reported to them by the Metropolitan Police since December. The videos depict gang members threatening and goading rival gangs, describing how they would murder them, making shooting hand signals and waving a Rambo knife. 

Collectively, the videos have been viewed more than 356,000 times. Despite YouTube’s own rules stating that ‘threats, harassment, intimidation (and) inciting others to commit violent acts…are taken very seriously’ and the Met providing detailed context, the site claimed no breach had taken place.

Watch: Mayor urges YouTube to remove violent videos

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan says:

Internet giants have policies in place around violent content, but they do not go far enough. Google, YouTube and other platforms have a responsibility to the millions of young people using their sites every day, and it is vital that they toughen up their guidelines, remove breaches immediately and work with partners to help ensure such horrific videos do not reappear. Lives could depend on it.

The Mayor has made tackling knife crime and serious youth violence a top priority: investing £7million in knife and gang projects, targeting lawbreakers and supporting communities and victims.

He believes social media organisations can also help put a stop to these crimes by putting stricter rules in place and acting quickly to taking down content that fuels violence.

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime is already working with YouTube and Google to tackle online hate crime and want to join forces again on this important issue.

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