YouTube was once seen as safe space, free from government regulation and censorship.
But the dark side of the sharing platform has been laid bare in a report that reveals in the past three months, it has had to remove 58 million videos that were posting hateful or inappropriate content.
Catherine Archer, a lecturer at Murdoch University who specialises in social media, said it is the tip of the iceberg.
"I guess it's starting to admit the problem, but the whole point of YouTube was being able to upload a video without being a professional," she said.
"These social media platforms are, more and more, having to realise how hard it is to control the content on their channels."
YouTube said the videos removed mainly had inappropriate adult content or spam, but it did not offer much insight into how it is managing the large amount of hateful or conspiratorial videos.
According to Cody Wilson, the man behind the 3-D printable firearm company Defense Distributed, YouTube has removed a video of his recent press conference announcing the sale of gun blueprints and a fundraiser for his ongoing legal fight over their publication.
A father and his daughter were conducting a live-streaming report about a parked Area 51 Groom Lake facility bus when a local sheriff appeared on the scene where he threatened the duo for filming government property in a public lot Wednesday evening. Even though the Extraterrestrial Highway and surrounding tourist attractions draw thousands to the Nevada desert yearly, the sheriff of Lincoln County doesn’t like it when people film the Area 51 bus
Over the last few months, YouTube has come under fire for its content moderation decisions. The company, like other hosts of user-generated content, is not obliged to take down most content under US law, nor can it be held liable for much of what it hosts, giving it significant power over its users’ expression.
In the past few months, YouTube has made an unprecedented move to censor political outlets which they claim promote hate speech or extremist content. However, as Julian Assange just pointed out last month, peaceful anti-war politicians like Ron Paul are also being snubbed out in the name of controlling the narrative. But now, there is evidence of something even more insidious happening.
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