Fighting Incitement on Social Media, “They Can’t” Gets 40,000 Hate Videos Removed From YouTube

November 5, 2015

2 min read

They Can’t has succeeded in getting YouTube to remove over 40,000 videos containing hate speech against Jews. The victory came just over two weeks ago, according to Eliyahou Roth, founder and director of They Can’t.

The organization, which tracks and reports hate speech posted on YouTube, celebrated the triumph quietly, but the feeling of success inspired Roth to continue his painstaking work. “It was a great feeling, and it showed us just how important removing this online incitement is. We are actually saving lives every day,” said Roth.

Following the recent upswing in terror attacks in Israel, Roth changed gears quickly as general anti-Semitic videos were replaced by videos supporting terrorists, inciting to violence, and calling outright for the death of Jews and Israelis. According to Roth, most of these videos are in Arabic.

“To fight anti-Semitism in English is one thing,” Roth said, “but to fight terrorist videos in Arabic is much harder, and the videos are horrible.”

Roth explained that many of the videos actively encourage and even graphically explain how to kill Jews. They promote violence and terrorism, with the goal of slaughtering Israelis and Jews. The videos do not limit themselves to encouraging murder in Israel, but worldwide.

“YouTube is much more helpful in removing these videos,” Roth reported, “and we are succeeding in getting 95% of them taken down.”

Even as YouTube continues to remove the videos, countless more are uploaded each day. Roth related a story of his work. “Today I just reported one video, and it linked me to more and more videos in Arabic,” he told Breaking Israel News. “One video showed a 16-year-old boy explaining how to find a good knife and surprise Jews and stab them. It illustrated when people are vulnerable and how to attack to ensure that you at least wound if not kill a Jew.  Another harrowing video showed detailed instructions on how to build a pipe bomb.”

Thankfully, both videos have been removed due to the groundswell of complaints sent to YouTube, claiming that the videos were hate speech. The movement was spearheaded by They Can’t.

Roth noted that the videos continue to accumulate on YouTube in spite of the efforts of They Can’t. “These videos are being posted all the time. The more I look, the more come up. This is simple hate speech, and it needs to be removed before someone follows through on it,” he said.

“We need to stay vigilant and we need to make sure that they continue to be removed. And not just 95 percent, but all of them,” Roth concluded.

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