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YouTube Terrorism Crackdown: Google Removes Extremist Content

Google has removed videos from YouTube, especially those with extremist content, for “national security” reasons, and inciting hatred and violence among others.

According to Google's Transparency Report, released twice a year, the company has received 333 requests from the British government and police in the six months to the end of June.

Last year Google was massively criticized for hosting Islamic extremist material on YouTube, after the attempted murder of the Labour politician Stephen Timms.

Timms was approached by 21-year-old Roshonara Choudhry who stabbed him twice with a kitchen knife during his constituency surgery in East London. Choudhry alleged that she was influenced by sermon videos of Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The event was followed by an increase in the total number of request that British authorities sought to censor, which more than doubled from 156 to 333.

The target of the requests, which came from court orders, government and police requests, included more than 200 items on YouTube, with the remainder divided between web search results, blogs and other services.

Google refused to give more details on the videos that the British government saw as national security risks. Britain’s Home Office has said that “the government takes the threat of online extremist or hate content very seriously.”

Google normally acquiesces to at least a portion of most government requests, and accepted fully or partially 82 percent of the British government’s demands on Tuesday’s breakdown.

Google also received requests from many other countries in the world but did not comply with more than 50 percent of government demands in countries such as Canada, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Turkey and South Korea.

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