New York City – Today, after Rep. Anthony Weiner (D – Queens and Brooklyn), a member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, pressured YouTube to remove content featuring the terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, the company has agreed to change its policies to make it easier to flag and request removal of any video that incites terrorism.
Currently, all YouTube users have the option to flag content as inappropriate for a number of specific reasons, including videos with “inappropriate” content or those that infringe copyrights. Now, in a letter to Rep. Weiner, YouTube has indicated that it will include a separate flag for viewers who object to a particular video that promotes terrorism specifically.
Weiner has pressed YouTube to remove videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, the English-speaking, American-born terrorist now living in Yemen whose videos have served as motivation for dozens of terrorists. In one of his most recent videos posted to YouTube, al-Awlaki claims that since Americans are from the “party of devils”, no special permission is needed to kill them.
Al-Awlaki has been linked to numerous terrorist plots and attackers, including three of the 9/11 hijackers, the Fort Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, the attempted Times Square bomber, and the recent plot to plant explosive devices in cargo planes, among others.
“This is a nice step, but it is no substitute for removing al-Awlaki’s videos,” Weiner said. “Giving citizens more tools to report toxic videos does not absolve YouTube of its responsibility to stop the ‘YouTube Terrorist’”.
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)