Google was condemned by MPs on Wednesday for failing to remove an illegal video by the banned far-Right group National Action.
The tech giant was accused of ‘either incompetence or unwillingness to act’ after being asked at least seven times in a year to take down footage promoting the neo-Nazi organisation from YouTube.
Despite executives repeatedly promising the Commons’ Home Affairs Select Committee that the video would be blocked, the film remained easily accessible yesterday. Only after committee chairman Yvette Cooper released a letter sent to Nicklas Berild Lundblad, Google’s vice-president of public policy, was the clip finally removed.
National Action supporters performing a Nazi salute at an anti-mosque demonstration in Bolton – Google has been condemned by MPs for not removing the hate group’s videos
The tech giant was accused of ‘either incompetence or unwillingness to act’ in relation to the video by the banned far-Right group National Action
National Action, which became the first home-grown white supremacist group to be banned under terrorism laws in December 2016, was linked to the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox. The highly secretive organisation used the slogan ‘Death to traitors, freedom for Britain’, the only words her killer Thomas Mair, 54, said in court during his trial for the June 2016 murder.
The proscribed terror group – many of whose members have been arrested – draws its inspiration from Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement, in which his son Max Mosley was a key activist.
Google owns the YouTube video-hosting website which has incurred the wrath of MPs
Sir Oswald was cited by the founders of National Action as a major influence on their beliefs, and the group even copied the UM symbol under which Formula One tycoon Max has demonstrated. National Action was described by the Home Office as ‘virulently racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic’. It also made headlines for hosting a ‘Miss Hitler’ contest and for posting pictures online of them performing Nazi salutes at the Buchenwald Camp in Germany, where 50,000 people died.
The four-and-a-half minute propaganda video raised by the cross-party committee related to the National Action demonstration in Darlington in November 2016. Intercut with footage of violence, one of the group’s racist leaders spewed hatred into a loudhailer, warning that white British people will become a ‘despised and persecuted minority’.
In her letter, Miss Cooper told Google, which owns the YouTube video-hosting website: ‘I am shocked and disturbed at YouTube’s complete failure to deal with this known illegal video. It shows either hopeless incompetence or a shameful abdication of responsibility.’
National Action was banned under powers outlawing the glorification of terrorism – meaning it is a crime, punishable by a maximum ten years in prison, to be a members or supporter of the organisation.
A YouTube spokesman said: ‘We do not allow National Action to have a channel on YouTube and we remove National Action content that’s uploaded by third parties.
‘While we recognise our systems haven’t worked 100 per cent in this instance, we’re getting faster at removing violent extremist content.’
Ministers are concerned that jihadist and far-right propaganda can still be accessed online with just a few clicks – radicalising vulnerable individuals. Picutred: This grab from a propaganda video shows the paramedics at the scene of the Westminster terror attack