Although hate and terror groups continue to thrive on the web, recent decisions made by Apple, Google, and YouTube were praised by anti-hate groups as positive steps towards preventing the spread of anti-Semitism on their platforms.
A Hezbollah application that streamed videos from Lebanese satellite network Al-Manar was removed from Apple and Google’s app stores on Sunday, according to tech media website CNET.
Al-Manar has been on the US State Department’s Terrorism Exclusion List since December 2004 as it is believed to be the propaganda arm for Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terror organization which many believe to be responsible for the July terror attack in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver.
Abraham H. Foxman, Anti Defamation League National Director, praised Apple and Google’s decision, saying, “Al-Manar is a source for anti-American and anti-Israel propaganda and messages of hate and violence. We commend Apple for removing the app from the iTunes store and appreciate their vigilance in ensuring that terrorist-affiliated organizations will not have access to Apple’s customers.”
On Wednesday the Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI) in Australia released a report documenting one YouTube user who uploaded over one thousand videos in a single day “the majority of which were blatant hate speech,” and remained on the site for nearly a month, until YouTube closed the user’s account within 24 hours of receiving an advance copy of OHPI’s report.
“YouTube must be commended for its speedy response to OHPI’s report,” said OHPI’s CEO, Dr Andre Oboler. “But it is concerning that such hateful content, and in such volume in a single account, was able to remain on the YouTube site for over a month without triggering internal warnings.”
According to the report, one particular video had been flagged several times, and YouTube was even notified by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) of the offending video before taking action.
The OHPI was established in January “to combat online hate and to reduce the emotional and physical harm that such hate can cause,” according to the organization’s release.