Google has revealed that it removed 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism after receiving a request from the UK's Association of Police Officers, but it refused to give in to censorship demands by a number of the world's governments.

Google has revealed that it removed 640 videos from YouTube that allegedly promoted terrorism after receiving a request from the UK's Association of Police Officers, but it refused to give in to censorship demands by a number of the world's governments.

 
The videos in question were linked with five accounts suspected of promoting terrorism and were found to violate YouTube's Community Guidelines. The accounts were terminated and all videos associated with them were deleted.
 
It is not clear if all 640 videos contained pro-terrorism messages or if only a select number of them did, but all of them have now been removed, according to Google's latest transparency report on government requests.
 
 
Despite Google's agreement in this case and several others, it refused to cooperate with requests by a number of governments, and labelled many of the requests as “troubling” and “alarming.”
 
“Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not,” said Dorothy Chou, Senior Policy Analyst at Google. 
 
“This is the fifth data set that we’ve released. And just like every other time before, we’ve been asked to take down political speech. It’s alarming not only because free expression is at risk, but because some of these requests come from countries you might not suspect—Western democracies not typically associated with censorship.”
 
Examples given include a request by regulators in Spain to remove 270 search results for blogs and newspaper articles referencing individuals and public figures, while a Polish public institution asked Google to remove links to a website that criticised it. Google did not comply with these requests.
 
Other requests that Google refused to give in to included a Canadian request to remove a YouTube video of a man urinating on his Canadian passport and flushing it down the toilet, a Pakistani request to remove six YouTube videos that satirised the Pakistan army, and US requests to remove a blog that allegedly defamed a law enforcement official and to remove 1,400 YouTube videos for alleged harassment.