by Steven Nelson, US News:
YouTube has removed videos showing the alleged kidnapping and torture of a mentally disabled and reportedly white man in Chicago as the jarring footage triggers outrage and concern it may show a hate crime.
President-elect Donald Trump’s name and the race of the victim is mentioned by the apparent captors throughout footage of the incident, which was broadcast live on Facebook and later removed by the company.
At least two videos of the apparent crime have been removed from YouTube as the story seeps into the mainstream press.
One removed video was widely circulated Wednesday before becoming inaccessible, witha message saying that it “has been removed for violating YouTube’s policy on violent or graphic content.”
A separately posted video that reportedly showed the victim drinking from a toilet alsowas removed, “for violating YouTube’s policy on harassment and bullying.”
CPD Arrested and Charged all four offenders with Hate Crime, as well as other charges, from West Side kidnapping and attack. Presser@2:15 pic.twitter.com/EoYnluf573
— Chicago Police (@Chicago_Police) January 5, 2017
Hate crime, kidnapping and battery charges were filed Thursday against four black suspects. Police believe the victim was held against his will for up to 48 hours, WFLD-TVreports. before being found disoriented and wearing shorts on the city’s West Side.
A YouTube spokesperson presented specific questions about the videos provided a statement that did not address the Chicago incident, saying:
“YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit videos displaying gratuitous violence. We remove videos and channels that violate our policies when flagged for our attention, and we strongly encourage the YouTube community to report content.”
Other depictions of headline-grabbing violence remain on YouTube, including high-profile footage of police fatally shooting civilians, perhaps falling under the popular video-sharing platform’s allowance of documentary or educational content.
Among the violent content currently on YouTube are videos of the 2015 shooting by a South Carolina cop of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shown running away. That footage, which does not require age verification to view, shows the fatal shots and Scott’s lifeless handcuffed body.
The victim was forced to drink from a toilet.USN&WR
A search for “ISIS beheading,” meanwhile, turns up many grisly murders, though it’s possible these videos would be removed if flagged for review.
Archived screenshots of one YouTube page show the reason for the Chicago footage’s removal has evolved, with initial removal premised on the alleged violation of “YouTube’s policy on spam, deceptive practices, and scams.”