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Response to 'HOPE not hate' report on BitChute

On Friday the 17th July we were contacted by a journalist who made us aware of an upcoming report by the activist organization 'HOPE not hate'. The journalist was under embargo by 'HOPE not hate' and unauthorized to share the report with us. Therefore, we reached out directly to 'HOPE not hate' requesting a copy of the report, and more specifically the list of terrorist content they had found, so that we can take the appropriate measures to enforce our guidelines. 

In the time since, several other journalists have contacted us citing the same report and we have given them the following statement, excerpts of which were quoted in the article by The Independent:

"BitChute is a startup that's growing incredibly fast in a market that has been monopolized by YouTube. There are millions of videos on BitChute and thousands of videos are uploaded daily. We have removed thousands that violate our terms of use, but we are improving our moderation systems and we know we need to do more. We are working hard to introduce new policies and processes which will further improve our ability to remove illegal content and we are already engaging with a number of organizations to scale up our capabilities. As a small platform, we have limited resources and encourage organizations like Hope Not Hate to help us improve our processes and enter into a direct dialogue with us. Studies have shown that banning people from online platforms pushes them on to other networks based in remote jurisdictions where there is no accountability, no oversight, and no possibility for improvement and where people may be propagandized by groups that do have extreme agendas. No one should want that, we do not want that and BitChute can play a major role in preventing that from happening."

Yesterday the report was released by 'HOPE not hate' and its contents were damning, although the conclusions of the report are far from the truth of the situation. BitChute is and always has been a neutral platform. We are committed to eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content from our services.

We have already been taking steps to address the gap between the intent of our guidelines and our ability to enforce them. This began with establishing a dedicated moderation team at the start of the year, which we plan to grow, and is continuing with work on refining our guidelines to improve clarity, coverage and alignment with public expectations. We are also looking to make significant improvements to the technological aspects with a redesign of our moderation system to improve its capability, efficiency and transparency. And we have been seeking outside assistance with gaining access to automated detection technogies, like those deployed by our much larger competitors.

Since we launched three years ago we have made many thousands of social media posts covering a diverse array of topics and opinions from a wide range of users, we never thought of these as endorsements of either the creators, their content or their views and were intended to stimulate debate. Moving forward we have decided to make changes to how we utilise social media, for now usage will be limited to posting company announcements and we will conduct an internal review to identify any others that are an appropriate use of our influence.

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BitChute is a peer-to-peer content sharing platform. Creators are allowed to post content they produce to the platform, so long as they comply with our policies. The content posted to the platform is not reflective or representative of the views of Bit Chute Limited, its staff or owners. © 2017-2020 Bit Chute Limited, Oxford House, 12-20 Oxford Street, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1JB. United Kingdom. Company number 10637289.