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Friday, June 29, 2012

UK Neo-Nazis Squeeze Cash from ISPs

British extremist thugs turned out to use YouTube’s revenue-sharing system to get cash from many companies, including Virgin Media, BT and O2, without their knowledge. Such groups as Blood& Honor or Combat 18, while lacking opposable thumbs but considering themselves racially superior, were benefiting from the automatic addition of advertisements to their videos uploaded to YouTube.

According to the agreements included in to the Adsense program, YouTube users are allowed to post non-copyrighted videos to benefit from advertisements on the page. The case is paid to the uploader of the video, and Neo-Nazis have used this aspect of the search giant’s business model to get cash for buying weapons, server space and their printing bills.

Google has been told and removed the videos in question, but there’s no indication that the company has put in place any protection to prevent such cases in the future. Their videos aimed at getting support by inciting hatred against minority and ethnic groups, hoping that people would support such kind of thing and so wouldn’t notice that the kind of people who incite such rubbish are the kind of people no-one would want to meet in a dark ally.

Of course, all that racial incitement is against the rules of the streaming service, but since YouTube doesn’t screen the videos, it requires people to flag inappropriate content. Meanwhile, Combat 18 members aren’t interested in flagging the videos, so they get repeated viewings. Worse still, if non-copyrighted video proves quite popular, its uploader is invited to join Google’s partner program and become known and loved by the international giant.

In Germany they take this kind of crime very seriously, and took a look into the YouTube account of one of the National Socialist Underground members who was arrested this past February. The individual was suspected in the case of the murder of ten Turkish immigrants in a series of racist killings throughout a decade. It is believed that David Copeland, the London nail bomber, and Anders Breivik, responsible for the 2011 Norway attacks, had received support from Internet communities.

Unsurprisingly, Virgin Media was a bit upset that Beardie’s advertisements were associated with neo-Nazi material. The company’s representative said in the interview that they had a strict policy on its advertisement placement and therefore were concerned about adverts appearing against unrelated and unsuitable videos uploaded to YouTube.

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