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Google removes 640 UK terror videos from YouTube

18 Jun 2012
Google logo (Robert Scoble Flickr)

Google removed 640 terrorist videos from YouTube between June and December 2011 at the request of the UK's Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The search giant revealed it had received the requests in its latest Transparency Report, with five accounts deleted from its video service as a result.

"We terminated these accounts because they violated YouTube's Community Guidelines, and as a result approximately 640 videos were removed," the firm added.

Google has been providing insights into the types of requests for content removal it receives for over two years.

Commenting on the latest information, Dorothy Chou, a senior police analyst at Google, wrote in a blog post that the firm remains concerned too many governments asked for the removal of material simply because it is critical of their administration.

"This is the fifth data set that we've released. And just like every other time before, we've been asked to take down political speech," she said.

"It's alarming not only because free expression is at risk but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect - Western democracies not typically associated with censorship."

She noted that, for example, both Spanish and Polish regulators asked the firm to take down search results for blogs and articles in newspapers that either referred to public figures, such as mayors and public prosecutors, or were critical of government agencies.

The firm said it did not comply with these requests.

Last year, it was revealed that the Office of Fair Trading requested 93,360 fraudulent ads to be removed from Google's AdWords platform.

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Dan Worth
About

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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