YouTube Has a Strict Policy against Hate Speech, but Makes an Exception for Jihadist Anti-Semitism

Born in Egypt and living in Britain, Khaled Hassan found a job last year with Crisp, a “digital risk intelligence” company employed by YouTube. His role was to flag materials in his native Arabic that foment hatred or violence so that the video-hosting website could remove them. He pursued this task scrupulously, which soon got him into trouble, as David Rose reports:

“I flagged some videos with the [people responsible for identifying hate speech that] literally said, ‘God curse the Jews’ and other brazenly anti-Semitic stuff,” Mr. Hassan said. YouTube’s publicly stated policy is that all “hate speech” that promotes “violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on race or religion “is not allowed” and will be “removed.”

But Mr. Hassan was told that this did not apply to the videos he wanted to get YouTube to take down. His Crisp colleague wrote: “Unfortunately this stuff is not as clear cut as you think—particularly with hate speech.” This struck Mr. Hassan as ironic: “I was flagging a lot of content from radical, right-wing Jewish organizations. And for this, I received a lot of praise.”

Crisp placed Mr. Hassan on what his boss called an “informal action plan” to scrutinize his work—because, he claims, it felt he was trying to flag too many videos that YouTube did not consider to have violated its policy. On January 12, he attended a further meeting with two of his Crisp colleagues. He says it grew heated. According to Mr. Hassan, one of his colleagues said: “We keep submitting non-violative content [to YouTube]. . . . You, Khaled, you have issues with Palestinian stuff.” . . . He was told to ask a Palestinian from another part of the company to vet any recommendation he made about videos on the conflict with Israel.

The objections to Hassan’s judgments, it is worth noting, came not only from Crisp but from YouTube itself. Eventually Hassan was demoted, and thereafter quit.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Internet

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy