Santa Clara County, Calif. – A non-profit has filed a lawsuit against YouTube claiming the sharing of videos online and the social media platform hasn’t enforced its ban on videos depicting animal abuse, raising concerns that it could generate revenue. can affect.
The Lady Freethinker organization filed the paperwork Monday in California Superior Court for Santa Clara County. According to its website, Lady Freethinkers is an animal rights group that “gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.”
“YouTube has chosen to profit from the principles of ethical and humane treatment of innocent animals,” the organization founded by Nina Jackel said in court documents.
The nonprofit further claimed that it “found and watched videos of top predators such as pythons attacking and attacking puppies and kittens (and other family pets) in staged conversations.” The complaint also stated that one video after another appeared for a Google product.
The complaint continued, “There are also several forced violent interactions in which young animals are deliberately tortured, harmed or killed.”
The group – which it argues has alerted YouTube and its parent company, Google several times – also claimed that its 2020 report contained “more than 2,000 videos with more than a billion ‘views of animal abuse'” and “Less than 10 by March 2021″ have been identified. % of those videos were removed.”
Lady Freethinker is suing YouTube for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, false advertising and violation of California’s unfair competition law. The group is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, removing all animal abuse videos and allowing the group to be part of YouTube’s “trusted flag bearer” program to help remove the videos.
YouTube said it is working to remove the content.
“We agree that content depicting violence or abuse of animals has no place on YouTube,” company spokesman Ivy Choi said in a statement to Granthshala television stations on Tuesday. “While we have always had strict policies prohibiting animal abuse content, earlier this year, we expanded our Violent and graphic policy To more expressly prohibit content that intentionally causes physical pain or harm to animals, including staged animal rescue.”
“As with any significant update, it takes time for our systems to be fully implemented,” she continued. “Our team is working hard to remove infringing content immediately and this year alone, we have removed hundreds of thousands of videos and terminated thousands of channels for violating these policies.”
YouTube also encourages users to flag and report videos that show animal abuse.
In regards to the allegations of profit, the company said it has strict protocols about displaying ads and bans ads on videos that depict violence and other harmful behavior against an animal.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.