08:55 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Zahran Hashim. File photo

    YouTube Upholds Hosting Islamist Preacher Videos After Deadly Sri Lanka Attacks

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    Multiple Deadly Explosions Hit Sri Lanka on Catholic Easter (76)

    Authorities suspect Islamist preacher Zahran Hashim of inspiring those who were behind the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed more than 300 people.

    YouTube has upheld its hosting “legitimate” video messages by a hate preacher linked to the Sri Lanka attacks, claiming that it had only found one such video which was out of line with its policies.

    The streaming giant underscored in a statement that it "rejects violent extremism” and that it takes “swift action against terrorism content”.

    “We are removing videos that feature the perpetrators of this attack. We've invested heavily in people, smart detection technology, and a network of expert organisations to ensure we keep making progress in detecting and removing extremist content as quickly as possible”, the statement pointed out.

    READ MORE: In Wake of Bombings, ‘Growing Anger' in Sri Lanka Over Security Lapses

    This comes after Sky News identified videos on YouTube featuring Islamist preacher Zahran Hashim, with one such video being deleted after Sky News flagged it to the platform.

    Sky News cited YouTube as saying in response that “it was removing all videos that featured Hashim other than those which portrayed him in context, such as part of a media report”.

    YouTube's Director of Public Policy Marco Pancini, for his part, stated that the company’s focus “after the horrific events in Sri Lanka” was to make sure that “we applied the procedures that we described before”.

    READ MORE: Muslims in Sri Lanka Fear Retribution Following Attacks on Christian Churches

    He claimed that after identifying the attackers, YouTube “worked together with law enforcement to make sure that if they had a channel or presence on the platform, that it was closed, and make sure that when people search for information on what's happening, they find authoritative sources”.

    On Sunday, Sri Lanka was hit by a series of coordinated bombings in churches and hotels in the capital of Colombo and other cities, killing at least 321 people and wounding 500 others. These were the worst attacks the country has faced since the end of its 25-year civil war.

    Multiple Deadly Explosions Hit Sri Lanka on Catholic Easter (76)


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