UKLFI: Supporting Israel with legal skills

YouTube Rejected Warnings about Antisemitic Content

YouTube rejected warnings from its moderators to remove antisemitic videos, according to a whistleblower, who has been assisted by UKLFI Charitable Trust.

Khaled Hassan, who worked at a company contracted by YouTube to monitor its content, was employed to identify extremist Arabic videos.

Mr Hassan told the Jewish Chronicle that

  • YouTube failed to remove videos by the late Pakistani preacher Israr Ahmad, who called Jews “this cursed race”, “the ultimate source of evil” and “the biggest agents of Satan” or “akin to pigs”. Other videos quoted the notorious forgery, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion;

  • YouTube did not remove videos by Wagdy Ghoneim, a Egyptian jihadist who is banned in the UK;

  • YouTube failed to delete clips celebrating the murder last November of Jerusalem tour guide Eli Kay;

  • he was told that when he wished to “flag” any video about the Middle East conflict, he should seek approval from a Palestinian colleague. He was subsequently moved to a more menial job because, he claimed, he highlighted videos that YouTube did not want to remove.

YouTube has now confirmed to the JC that it has removed Israr Ahmad’s YouTube channel.

In a LinkedIn post, Mr Hassan said: The past couple of months were, without a doubt, the hardest in my career. It is now time to share this with the world. …

“I am immensely grateful to The Board of Deputies of British Jews, Adam Ma’anit, UKLFI, Jonathan Turner, David Rose, Jewish Chronicle and many other organisations and members of the community for their unwavering support.

“… I am hoping that the next few weeks will see social media giants learning from this experience and engaging with the community, and that I will have some peace after weeks of what can only be described as an excruciating experience.”

Jonathan Turner, Executive Director of UKLFI Charitable Trust commented: “We salute Khaled’s courage. We are very pleased that he has successfully highlighted YouTube’s failures, and that YouTube has now started to remove this hateful content.”

UKLFI Charitable Trust is a UK charity set up to advance legal education on Israel and antisemitism and to help victims of antisemitism.