Our commitment to combat antisemitism
Today marks an important day as world leaders, industry, and civil society come together for the Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism. To remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the millions killed is more important now than ever. Knowledge of this dark chapter of human history is declining in many parts of the world, and antisemitic attacks are on the rise. Only last week, antisemitic graffiti was found spray-painted on the barracks of the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, an awful reminder that Holocaust remembrance cannot be taken for granted.
We have a shared responsibility - the private sector along with governments, civil society, and nonprofits - to promote education about the Holocaust and combat antisemitism, both online and offline. Our pledge to the Forum, to our users, and the wider online community, is that we will continue to fight hate speech online through our policies, tools and programmes. Last year we supported organisations including ADL, AJC’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights and Israeli nonprofit Fighting Online Antisemitism in their efforts. Today we are committing more than €5 million from Google.org in monetary grants and in-kind ad donations:
- A €1 million cash grant commitment to nonprofits fighting antisemitism online. As part of this commitment, Expo foundation has carried out research together with HOPE not Hate and Amadeu Antonio Foundation to understand the growth and spread of antisemitism online in Europe, and these organisations will be educating other civil society actors about the results and learnings of the report.
- The balance of more than €4 million ($5 million USD) in ad grants will go towards helping governments and nonprofits around the world combat antisemitism online and promote authoritative content through public campaigns about antisemitism and the Holocaust.
Hate Speech and YouTube’s 4 Rs
When it comes to living up to our responsibility and maintaining an open platform, we rely on the 4 Rs: we Remove content that violates our policies or local laws where we operate; we Reduce the spread of borderline content; we Raise up authoritative voices when people are looking for breaking news and information; and lastly, we Reward trusted, eligible creators and artists.
We have long-held Community Guidelines that make clear we will not allow hate speech on YouTube. Our policies specifically prohibit content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on attributes including religion.
Hate speech targeting the Jewish community is a particularly pernicious example of hateful content that we are committed to tackling on YouTube. We have taken significant steps towards combating such hateful content and have made strong progress by strengthening these policies in the last few years. For example, we updated our hate speech policy to remove supremacist content, content with allegations of inferiority, and added new protected groups, including survivors of major violent events. We also prohibit content denying that well-documented violent events — such as the Holocaust — took place. We consistently review our policies to make sure we are drawing the lines in the right place and make changes when we find gaps in our systems.
In this ongoing work, transparency is key. Each quarter we publish YouTube’s Community Guidelines Enforcement Transparency Report with information about the videos and channels we remove for violating these policies. In April we introduced a new metric called the Violative View Rate to provide further transparency about the percentage of views on YouTube that come from violative content, including our hate speech policies.
We believe that focusing only on removing content is not enough. No matter where we draw the line, there will always be content that brushes right up against it, which is why in addition to removals, we reduce recommendations of "borderline" content and raise up authoritative information about breaking news and sensitive subjects. Because of this, viewers looking for content about the Holocaust will find informative videos including first-hand accounts from survivors.
We’re proud to be a part of the Malmö International Forum. We’ll continue to work together to ensure that the world never forgets and to fight antisemitism online.