Google workers union blasts YouTube in wake of mob attack on Capitol


FILE – This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the YouTube app on an iPad. More than a month after the U.S. presidential election, YouTube says it will start removing newly uploaded material that claims widespread voter fraud or errors changed the outcome. The Google-owned video service said Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020 that this is in line with how it has dealt with past elections. That’s because Tuesday was the “safe harbor” deadline for the election and YouTube said enough states have certified their results to determine Joe Biden as the winner. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The newly-formed union of Alphabet workers issued a statement Thursday condemning YouTube’s “key role” in the growth of fascism in the United States, and criticizing the response from executives. Alphabet is the parent company of both YouTube and Google.

The statement comes a day after a mob of angry Trump supporters breached the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the certification of President-elect Biden’s victory. One woman was shot by police and killed in the riots that left windows smashed, offices defaced and forced lawmakers and staff to evacuate or shelter in place.

“Yesterday, a mob of fascists, urged on by the sitting president of the United States, stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C in an attempt to prevent the certification of the results of the presidential election,” the union statement reads. “Donald Trump then celebrated the insurrectionists in a video posted on social media, including on his YouTube channel, where he told armed fascists, ‘We love you, you’re very special.'”

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook later removed that video with Facebook banning the president indefinitely.

The union is now threatening to organize for change, saying the company had done little to remove videos of hate, harassment, discrimination and radicalization from YouTube and other Alphabet platforms.

“We warned our executives about this danger, only to be ignored or given token concessions, and the results have been suicides, mass murders, violence around the world, and now an attempted coup at the Capitol of the United States,” the workers union said.

The union is accusing Alphabet of “selective and insufficient enforcement,” pointing to the company removing removing only one video from Trump’s channel instead of deactivating his account, and using “election fraud” as the reason for their action “even as he clearly celebrates the individuals responsible …”

The union says Alphabet has done “tremendous damage” by “failing to act” and they will consider the company in support of events such as Gamergate, Charlottesville and Christchurch if there isn’t change.

The Alphabet Workers Union, which formed Monday with roughly 400 members, says it is now prepared to organize.

Alphabet did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but issued a statement Thursday saying that any channels posting new videos with false election claims will now receive a strike instead of first getting a warning. YouTube channels with three strikes in a 90-day period are permanently banned.

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