Racism in plain view on YouTube


POLICY STATEMENT: Eastern Eye found videos showing graphic violence such as street brawls as well as videos mocking religions on the website
POLICY STATEMENT: Eastern Eye found videos showing graphic violence such as street brawls as well as videos mocking religions on the website

by NADEEM BADSHAH

ONE of the world’s most popular websites is hosting videos mocking Islam, Sikhism and Hindu­ism and showing graphic vio­lence, an Eastern Eye investiga­tion has found.

Dozens of clips on YouTube contain racist comments and brawls in the UK which is availa­ble to all ages until someone makes a complaint.  

Some of the videos we found include Islam – Europe’s fastest growing Cancer, Aliens are Demons – Hinduism Exposed and Sikhism is a mind controlling DISEASE.  

One clip showed young Mus­lim schoolchildren chanting “Al­lahu Akbar” (God is the greatest) in a street, which sparked a flurry of Islamophobic comments be­low the footage. Another labelled the Guru Granth Sahib [the holy book followed by Sikhs] as a “comic book” and compared it to superhero Batman.  

A video called British Road­man fights Muslim showed an Asian schoolboy trading punches to the head with a white young­ster, which has bigoted remarks in the comments section.  

Experts have called for websites to be policed better to remove material which may breach the Racial and Religious Hatred Act.  

Obayed Hussain is an imam and co-founder of West Midlands Active Citizens, who held an in­ternet safety workshop in Bir­mingham to mark Safer Internet Day in February.  

He told Eastern Eye: “The inter­net provides a truly amazing space to keep in touch with each other and to share information.  

“There’s also a darker side which people are exploiting to sow hatred, Islamophobia and, in this instance, violence. Whether its offline or online, hate crime must not be tolerated.  

“It is true online media compa­nies have a duty to protect us from dangerous content. However, it is also true that we can all play a part in protecting ourselves online.  

“To mark Safer Internet Day (February 6) we led a workshop on online safety, on how to report malicious content through appro­priate channels, and installing the right protective measures for your browser. Only through collected effort can we tackle hatred.”  

YouTube has over one billion users worldwide, almost one-third of all people on the Internet, and has launched local versions in more than 88 countries.  

Another video, called P**i cars bats ko knockout chipshop run fights gangs, on the site included Asian men smashing cars and the windows of a restaurant with weapons in Bradford.  

Eastern Eye found videos showing graphic violence such as street brawls

And UK Fight Back Against Is­lam, showing a Muslim man be­ing punched in the head, trig­gered a number of Islamophobic views in the comments section.  

Footage posted called P**i fight in UK shows two Asian men wres­tling in the street which triggered a string of racist remarks by web­site users, while another titled P***s fighting Uk England Paki­stan squad featured a man being attacked in the head with a broom outside a house.  

After being presented with Eastern Eye’s findings, YouTube removed the videos that breached its guidelines or set an age restric­tion on the content.  

Amjad Malik, a solicitor from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, said: “Britain has no place for ra­cial and religious hatred, discrim­ination and intimidation.  

“Strict laws are available for protection, and the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 allows the state to prosecute on commit­tal of such offences punishable up to seven years and a fine.  

“The Internet Watch Founda­tion (IWF) blocks thousands of websites containing pornography material and in that line, material on the internet which is malicious, racist and incites towards hatred against colour, creed, nationality or religion must be removed by the authorities and IWF.”  

Harmander Singh, a spokesman for the Sikhs in England think-tank, said: “The law is whatever goes on the internet still carries the same weight as the written word if it incites racial or religious hatred.  

“But there’s so much content out there, which is why home sec­retary Amber Rudd and others are asking IT companies to police it and remove it.  

“The anti-Muslim and anti-immigration comments under­neath videos should also be looked at – keyboard warriors hiding behind fictitious profiles.  

“The hosts and platforms could do more, like when you set up a YouTube account to post videos so you can’t have a fake ID.”  

In response to our investigation, a YouTube spokesperson said: “YouTube has clear policies that prohibit hateful and violent con­tent, and we remove videos and comments that violate these poli­cies when flagged by our users.  

“We encourage users to flag individual videos for our atten­tion, or contact us about inappro­priate comments using the Help & Safety Tool so we can review and remove anything that breaks the rules.”  

Web giant Google, which owns YouTube, is hiring thousands of new moderators this year to ex­pand its workforce to more than 10,000 people responsible for re­viewing content that could violate its policies.  

It follows widespread criticism that it allowed child abuse videos and other offensive content to be posted on its site.  

TWO-THIRDS of female lawyers have experienced sexual harassment at work and over half have been targeted more than once, a new survey found last week.  

Complaints by lawyers to their watch­dog, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), are said to be nearly one a month, with a total of 21 in the past two years.  

The survey by trade magazine Legal Week, which questioned 100 women, was launched amid concerns that sexual misconduct allegations in the industry could be stifled by confidentiality or “non-disclosure” agreements.  

The SRA has issued a warning to the law sector over the use of the deals after one confidentiality agreement is under­stood to have been used in the case of an alleged assault at the law firm Baker McKenzie in 2012.  

The female complainant was paid a “substantial sum” and is thought to have signed a confidentiality agreement. She is said to have since left the firm.  

Additional figures found that five complaints of misconduct have come through since 2016 and at least two doz­en women from more than 10 chambers have signed up to a support group on sexual harassment.  

Andrew Burns, QC, a leading employ­ment lawyer with Devereux Chambers, said he feels lawyers may be the next group of professionals to be exposed in sexual harassment cases.  

“The training dynamic of young, en­thusiastic [law] trainees or pupil barris­ters working closely for long hours, often late evenings, with senior influential lawyers is a high-risk environment,” he said.  

“Trainees are often invited along to evening marketing drinks where alcohol can flow freely. An unscrupulous senior lawyer may stray into harassment know­ing that his trainee is unlikely to report anything for fear of its ruining her chanc­es of advancement.”