YouTube forced to restore video critical of Holocaust denial (& Remembering Norman Stone)

June 26, 2019



[Note by Tom Gross]

(This is an update to my dispatch of June 10, titled: Why is YouTube banning videos which oppose anti-Semitism?)

The London Jewish Chronicle decided to write a news report about the banning by YouTube of the educational video I posted warning about antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

As soon as the Jewish Chronicle reached out to YouTube’s press office yesterday afternoon in preparation for their article today, YouTube abruptly restored the video to my account.

You can see the previously banned video on YouTube here:

I am quoted today in The Jewish Chronicle saying: “I am glad that YouTube suddenly restored it. Yet there was no apology, no explanation, no indication that they have learned from this episode and will stop taking down other educational tools to prevent antisemitism. Not everyone can have a newspaper intervene on their behalf.”

I would add that YouTube’s attitude to anti-Semitism is shameful. People have died in recent months as a result of self-radicalization including on YouTube by those who carried out the shootings in Pittsburgh, Poway and elsewhere.

Antisemitism researcher David Collier had his entire YouTube account (which warns against racism) banned. It has also now been restored following media intervention. But many other bans remain in place.

YouTube continue to ban videos educating against antisemitism while leaving up antisemitic videos with titles such as “My Question for the Jews” which falsely claims that the Talmud instructs Jews to view non-Jews as “animals”.

Facebook allowed my video, here

I attach a piece below from today’s Jewish Chronicle, followed by a tribute to the historian Norman Stone, a friend and a long time subscriber to this email list who, sadly, has died.



YouTube ‘mistakenly’ takes down anti-Shoah denial video
Video streaming company admits error while continuing to host films containing antisemitic tropes
By Ben Weich
Jewish Chronicle
June 26, 2019

YouTube has reinstated a video denouncing antisemitism and Holocaust denial having initially removed it for violating its hate speech policy.

The video in question, posted by journalist Tom Gross, featured Observer investigative reporter Carole Cadwalladr criticising suggested antisemitic search terms on Google.

On June 5 YouTube, which is owned by Google, announced that it had updated its policies regarding “harmful content and hate speech”, saying that videos in breach of its rules “are removed faster than ever and users are seeing less borderline content and harmful misinformation”.

Mr Gross’s video was removed on June 10 — despite YouTube continuing to host many videos elsewhere promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories. It was then reinstated on June 25, but only after the JC contacted YouTube for this article.

A YouTube spokesperson said: “We have an appeals process in place for users, and when it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.

“The video flagged by the JC was previously removed mistakenly but has now been reinstated.”

Videos that remain available on YouTube include one titled, “My Question for the Jews”, which claims that the Talmud instructs Jews to view non-Jews as “animals”, while others seen by the JC contain antisemitic tropes regarding “the Rothschild banking dynasty” and the “New World Order”.

In the video that Mr Gross posted, Ms Cadwalladr revealed during a conference speech that entering the phrase “Are Jews…” yielded a suggested search of “Are Jews evil?” She claimed a further suggested search was “Did the Holocaust happen?”, which led to a link to the neo-fascist Stormfront website.

Mr Gross, who has served as the Jerusalem correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph, told the JC: “I am glad they suddenly restored it. Yet there was no apology, no explanation, no indication they have learned from this episode and will stop taking down other educational tools to prevent antisemitism. Not everyone can have a newspaper intervene on their behalf.”

YouTube added: “We are a company committed to free expression and access to information. But it’s not anything goes on YouTube. The safety of our users has always been a priority. Since our earliest days, we’ve had Community Guidelines — or content policies — that govern what videos may stay on the site, which we rigorously enforce.”

Earlier this month David Collier, a British antisemitism researcher, had his YouTube account mistakenly deleted because it contained examples of hate speech. It was later restored.



Above: Norman Stone (left) and my father John_Gross (right)

On a boat trip down the Nile organized by George Weidenfeld for historians, academics and writers.



Whenever possible, I note the passing of long time subscribers to this email list who I knew personally.

The historian Norman Stone died a few days ago in Budapest, aged 78.

I attended Norman’s lectures at Oxford, and kept in touch with him since, and had dinner with him most recently a year ago in Budapest. He was for the most part brilliant and charming.

The obituary of him in yesterday’s Guardian is one of the nastiest and most unfair obits I’ve ever read. By contrast, The Times and Daily Telegraph gave Norman favorable, generous tributes.

Norman was often controversial, and sometimes provocative, but he was in many ways exceptionally knowledgeable. He had, for example, insights into mandate era Israeli and Palestinian history that I haven't heard from others.

The Times obituary notes:

Stone was the favorite historian of Margaret Thatcher and especially useful to her as an adviser on foreign policy and a speechwriter during her premiership.

He was among the coterie of historians that Thatcher invited to Chequers for a seminar on German reunification. With wartime memories still strong, she feared the enlarged Germany would become a “Fourth Reich”. Stone sought to reassure her, arguing that in taking over East Germany, West Germany was only getting “six Liverpools”.

He was born in Kelvinside, Glasgow, in 1941. His father, a Spitfire pilot, was killed when Norman was one and he was raised by his mother, a teacher, Presbyterian and Labour voter.

In a separate tribute in The Sunday Times, Professor Niall Ferguson writes:

Of all the “media dons” who flourished in the 1980s, Norman was the most wickedly clever, and the academic left hated him as much for the cleverness as for the wickedness. But Norman exulted in its disapproval. He once told me: “I wear my enemies like medals.” And that is how I shall always remember him: Guinness in one hand, Nietzsche in the other, cigarette balanced on lower lip – and the heads of Oxford’s dullest dons dangling from ribbons on his barrel chest.

Norman’s son, Rupert, a journalist, is also a subscriber to this Mideast email list.


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