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YouTube Refuses to Yank Israeli Kill Video as Hamas Attacks Jerusalem

•, By Noah Shachtman
 Israel launched its “Operation Pillars of Defense” on Wednesday by blowing up Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving his car down the street in Gaza. Hours later, aerial footage of the kill shot was posted to YouTube — and instantly went viral, racking up nearly two million views.

The video not only kicked of a fierce battle of opinion on social media that’s roughly paralleling the rockets-and-airstrikes conflict. It also appeared to violate YouTube’s community guidelines, which tells users: “if your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.”

But a YouTube employee, speaking on condition of anonymity, says the guidelines are just that — guidelines, not hard-and-fast rules. Users can flag a video as potentially objectionable, but the decision to take a clip down ultimately rests with YouTube’s global team of reviewers. The calculations get complicated, especially for warzone footage.

“We look at videos on a case-by-case videos when they’re flagged,” the employee tells Danger Room. “And we look at the context, the intent with which something is posted.”

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