YouTube bans Britain First ad that appeared when users searched for Brexit or British political news

'YouTube does not allow ads or videos that promote hatred, intolerance or discrimination on the platform'

YouTube has banned a Britain First ad that users were forced to see while searching for news on Brexit and British politics.

People who were looking for videos on the site were forced to look at the ad, which lasted more for than five minutes and gave prominent coverage to the far-right group.

As well as covering the group's members, ideas and featuring clear displays of its logo, the ad linked out to the group's YouTube channel. It showed leader Paul Golding confronting Muslims in Nuneaton.

But the ad has now been removed by the site, after it was reported by The Guardian. The ad was in contravention of rules that ban hate speech and other similar content, YouTube said.

"YouTube does not allow ads or videos that promote hatred, intolerance or discrimination on the platform," a YouTube spokesperson said. "We work hard to remove content that violates our policies quickly, using a combination of human flagging and review and smart detection technology.

"We're making progress in our fight to prevent the abuse of our services, including hiring more people and investing in advanced machine learning technology. We know there’s always more to do here and we’re committed to getting better."

A spokesperson for Britain First told The Guardian: “Britain First is at present suing Facebook in Belfast for political discrimination. Once that case is resolved in February, we will launch proceedings against YouTube for their politically motivated censorship.”

Britain First, which grew quickly by using the power of social networking sites, has in recent months been banned from many of them. Last year, Facebook removed the group's page as well as those of its leaders, and similarly said that the accounts were being used to spread "hate".

A spokesperson for Facebook said at the time that it did not remove pages “just because some people don’t like them” and allowed controversial political opinions.

“But political views can and should be expressed without hate,” a statement added.

“There are times though when legitimate political speech crosses the line and becomes hate speech designed to stir up hatred against groups in our society.”

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