The videos that once populated YouTube ranged from Awlaki’s early work as a mainstream imam in the U.S. to his later association with Al Qaeda.
Three-quarters of those videos are now gone from YouTube’s archives, the New York Times reported Sunday. The Times called the move by YouTube a “watershed moment” for platforms that have facilitated terrorist recruitment online.The extremist jihadist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike six years ago. But until this month, he was the leading English-speaking jihadist recruiter through more than 70,000 videos posted on YouTube.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even Airbnb have long claimed that they’re just platforms that bear no responsibility for the material that appears on them. In the post-Russian election interference era, however, some of these platforms have been forced to start accepting slightly more responsibility.