YouTube fails to remove extremist content from its platform

The Counter Extremism Project (CEP) released a new study that finds YouTube’s efforts to proactively remove extremist content from its platform are failing.

The report, which utilized an online web crawler and its own hashing technology – eGLYPH – calls into question YouTube’s claims of being able to remove ISIS videos quickly and effectively.

Using a narrow set of 229 previously-identified ISIS terror-related videos, CEP found that over a three-month period no less than 1,348 videos were uploaded via 278 separate accounts, garnering at least 163,000 views.

Specifically, CEP found that 91 percent of these ISIS videos were uploaded more than once; 24 percent of terrorist videos included in the study remained online for more than two hours; and 60 percent of the 278 accounts responsible for uploading the videos remained active after posting content that violated YouTube’s terms of service.

Moreover, 76 percent of these ISIS videos remained on YouTube for less than two hours but managed to receive a total of at least 14,801 views.

The report examined how often ISIS terror-related videos are being uploaded to YouTube, how long the material persists online and how many views each video received.

To achieve this, CEP utilized two computer programs: a web crawler and eGLYPH. The web crawler allowed searches of video titles and descriptions for pro-ISIS keywords in videos, while eGLYPH identified duplicated content.


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