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    London Mayor Urges Google, YouTube to Toughen Guidelines

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    London Mayor Sadiq Khan believes online platforms must take a tougher stance on gang and knife-related videos, put stricter rules in place and act quickly to take down content that violates them, according to the statement of the mayor's press service.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on Google and its video-sharing service YouTube to establish stricter rules regarding violent content posted online, and remove a number of videos that encourage knife crime and gang violence, the mayor's press service said in a statement on Monday.

    "Internet giants have policies in place around violent content, but they do not go far enough. Google, YouTube and other platforms have a responsibility to the millions of young people using their sites every day, and it is vital that they toughen up their guidelines, remove breaches immediately and work with partners to help ensure such horrific videos do not reappear. Lives could depend on it," Khan was quoted as saying by the statement.

    According to the statement, Khan referred to four videos that show rival gangs brandishing weapons to violent music as they threaten to kill one another. The Metropolitan Police (MET) had been demanding the removal of the videos, which collectively have been viewed over 356,000 times, since December. YouTube, on the other hand, has ruled out any violations.

    "The Mayor believes online platforms must take a tougher stance on gang and knife-related videos, put stricter rules in place and act quickly to take down content that violates them," the statement said, adding that Khan announced spending extra 625,000 pounds ($815,648) for knife and gang crime projects.

    In addition, the statement noted that the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC) was in cooperation with both Google and YouTube about the fight against hate crimes. MOPAC plans on expanding interaction to combating online content relating to knife crimes.

    According to MET data, the level of gun and knife crimes in London rose by 42 percent and 24 percent respectively in 2015-2016, compared to 2014-2015.

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