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YouTube blocks videos of late jihadist cleric

14 November 2017

Despite his death in a USA drone strike in 2011, Awlaki's legacy lived on with more than 70,00o videos accessible on YouTube. He was also cited as an influence in numerous terrorist attacks over the years, including the ones at Fort hood, the Boston Marathon and San Bernardino among others.

As for the task of triaging the massive streams of video that are uploaded every minute to YouTube to flag questionable content: the company is already using AI to sniff this stuff out, and such systems will likely improve over time to further improve and automate the process.

YouTube has blocked a large number of propaganda videos from late jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki due to mounting pressure from counterterrorism advocates and governments, according to The New York Times. The Times notes that where 70,000 videos associated with al-Awalaki were accessible on the site earlier this fall, only 18,600 remain, most of which are news reports about him and his life.

Up until his death at the hands of United States forces in 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki was a major voice for Islamic extremists, advocating for war and attacks against the U.S., and helped to inspire numerous terrorist attacks around the world.

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"It's a watershed moment on the question of whether we're going to allow the unchecked proliferation of cyberjihad", said Mark D. Wallace, chief executive of the Counter Extremism Project, a research organization that has previously called for Awlaki's recordings to be removed from the web.

In the past few months, Google has been actively keeping a check on YouTube content. "You just don't want to make it easy for people to listen to a guy who wants to harm us".

However, the policy will not affect news clips or educational videos about terrorism.

The three websites have all revealed that Russian actors used their platforms during the 2016 presidential campaign to spread propaganda and pose as American voters.

YouTube blocks videos of late jihadist cleric