Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Terrorist videos on youtube

Remove footage showing Ulster paramilitaries: Ford

Internet website YouTube has told the Belfast Telegraph it is reviewing its material after it faced demands to remove dozens of video clips glorifying republican and loyalist paramilitary groups.

The call from Alliance Party leader David Ford came after it emerged that dozens of propaganda images of masked and armed men have been posted on the popular video site.

The dramatic footage includes clips of suspected UDA gunmen opening fire on police during the fierce rioting that swept through loyalist areas after the contentious Whiterock parade in Belfast in 2005.

The site also includes images of republicans trying to shoot down an Army helicopter in south Armagh in the early 1990s.

One video, filmed at an IRA training camp, shows a dummy IRA mortar bomb being fired while a group of armed men look on.

Dozens of other videos depicting armed shows of strength have been posted on the site.

Now YouTube, which takes millions of hits across the globe each day, is coming under increasing pressure to clamp down on paramilitary images on its site.

Alliance Party leader and South Antrim MLA David Ford slammed the site.

He added: "There have been problems in the past with the YouTube website.

"It is absolutely outrageous that videos promoting the activities of illegal organisations should be on the website.

"I call on YouTube to remove any such offensive material."

In the past YouTube has faced calls to remove controversial and offensive material from its website.

Earlier this year the internet giants were criticised after a Belfast Telegraph investigation revealed that teenagers regularly post footage of staged street fights on the site.

The site has also been criticised in recent months for allowing footage of joyriders wrecklessly racing through west Belfast streets to be broadcast to a world-wide audience.

A spokesman for YouTube said the material was being reviewed.

He added: "The Internet gives everyone the opportunity to speak and be heard.

"But by making it easier for people to express themselves the web also raises cultural and political concerns in certain countries.

"That's why we make it easy for users to flag content they believe violates our terms and conditions ? and where it does, we remove it.

"We also work with the relevant local legal authorities when it comes to content that may break local laws.

"We think this approach strikes the right balance between freedom of expression and respect for local law."

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