Dog fighting is a heinous crime, but when it comes to monitoring their own platform for dog fighting videos, YouTube is falling far short of its obligation.
In just a few clicks, visitors to YouTube may find instructional videos about dog fighting and hours upon hours of material related to it.
A 2021 investigation, conducted by animal welfare organization Lady Freethinker, found 2,053 video that depicted animal abuse, garnering a collective 1.2 billion total views. The videos were posted across approximately 146 channels amassing 30.8 million total subscribers, covering wildlife, companion animals, and farmed animals in categories such as animal fighting, eating animals alive, hunting animals with other animals, monkey torture, and fox-hound hunting.
As the Guardian reports, the charity also found channels on YouTube hosting videos of “fake” or “falsified” animal rescues. The controversial videos show cats and dogs placed in contrived “dangerous” situations in the wild, such as near predators including snakes and crocodiles, only to be “saved” just in time by a human.
“YouTube must do a better job at monitoring and removing all videos that violate its terms and standards, alerting local law enforcement to illegal content, and holding channels accountable for their actions with suspensions and terminations,” said Nina Jackel, founder and president of Lady Freethinker told the Guardian.
From April to July 2020, YouTube removed 185 of the 2,053 videos identified in Lady Freethinker’s report, but that accounts for only 136.5 million out of 1.2 billion views related to dog fighting.
Often, these disturbing content creators simply rebrand themselves under a different name and continue to upload videos to YouTube. In bringing these facts up to the company, YouTuber Charlie White, also called penguin0, found that learned that inquiries about removing channels with alleged animal abuse were directed to a separate manual review team.
“I’d argue the majority of YouTube genuinely does care from behind the scenes. I think a lot of departments are really on the side of creators and want to make it better, but there are a few groups like this one in particular that just completely ruin it and ruin YouTube’s reputation and image as a result of it,” White told Newsweek.
This comes less than a year after the platform succeeded in removing hundreds of videos showing robots battling other robots under claims that they pictured animal abuse, the Independent reports.
YouTube should not allow these videos to be featured anywhere on the site as they only promote violence and carnage. Click below and demand the CEO of YouTube do more to remove these violent videos from their platform.
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