Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 - 25 of Av, 5780
USA

Combat Anti-Semitism Movement has launched a campaign urging the public to call on YouTube to remove Louis Farrakhan’s 4th of July antisemitic address

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“Louis Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitism, incorporating it into the very legitimate, important fight for civil rights and equality. His perversion of these values by promoting hatred and dehumanization of Jews is quite simply unacceptable.

“By turning a blind eye to Louis Farrakhan’s hateful comments, YouTube is allowing him to hijack the worthy cause of racial justice and use the video sharing site as a platform for anti-Semitism. YouTube’s failure to acknowledge and rectify this also enables celebrities and other figures with large social media followings to promote Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic sentiments.

 

The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement (CAM) has launched a campaign urging the public to call on YouTube to remove Louis Farrakhan’s 4th of July address, which contained a series of incendiary anti-Semitic comments and tropes. Despite being in clear contravention of YouTube’s own policies on hate speech, Farrakhan’s offensive rant currently remains online.

In his address, Farrakhan argued that Jews are responsible for many of the world’s ills and referred to the head of a leading Jewish civil rights organization as “Satan”. He even suggested the Jewish community seeks to kill him, saying, “Jews tried to poison me, they hate me because I reveal their wickedness,” adding “If you [Jews] make that move, I can guarantee your destruction.”

Farrakhan’s speech, which was streamed live on YouTube, has been viewed by over 850,000 people. It was also promoted by the rap artist Sean Combs (Puff Daddy) to his millions of Twitter followers.

CAM called on YouTube to remove Farrakhan’s address, noting that the video clearly contravenes YouTube’s own policy, which pledges to remove content promoting hate speech. This is classified by YouTube as content that promotes or condones violence or incites hatred against individuals or groups based on core characteristics such as ethnicity, gender and sexual identity, and religion. Such a definition unequivocally includes Jewish people.

The CAM campaign, launched in the organization’s re-vamped website, calls on members of the public to urge YouTube to remove the video by taking two simple actions:

  • Visit the video’s pageand submit a report, accessed by clicking the three ellipsis above the red subscribe button
  • Contact YouTube’s Matt Halprin, Vice-President of Global Trust and Safety to express concerns and call for the video’s removal

suggested letter to Halprin asks YouTube to enforce its own prohibition of content which incites hatred. The letter adds that Farrakhan “should not be given a platform on your website to promote intolerance.”

CAM has already sent a letter to YouTube’s Halprin, urging that Farrakhan’s address be removed. The letter also states that “CAM stands ready to support YouTube in clarifying and enforcing its standards when it comes to anti‐Semitism and to act as a resource going forward.” In this regard, it notes “The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti‐Semitism, adopted by its 34 country membership, including the United States government, is the recommended standard to identify anti‐Semitism.”

Sacha Roytman-Dratwa, The Combat Anti-Semitism Movement Director commented, “Louis Farrakhan has a long history of anti-Semitism, incorporating it into the very legitimate, important fight for civil rights and equality. His perversion of these values by promoting hatred and dehumanization of Jews is quite simply unacceptable.

“By turning a blind eye to Louis Farrakhan’s hateful comments, YouTube is allowing him to hijack the worthy cause of racial justice and use the video sharing site as a platform for anti-Semitism. YouTube’s failure to acknowledge and rectify this also enables celebrities and other figures with large social media followings to promote Farrakhan and his anti-Semitic sentiments.

“We call upon anyone who cares about removing hatred and discrimination from our world, to take part in this campaign and ensure that YouTube does the right thing by removing Farrakhan’s naked incitement against Jews.”

 

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