Animal rights group Lady Freethinker filed a lawsuit against social media giant YouTube for failing to remove animal abuse videos from their platform.
The founder of Lady Freethinker, Nina Jackel, told The New York Times that the charity had asked YouTube to take down animal abuse clips on its platform for the last 18 months.
Last year alone, the charity alerted YouTube to roughly 2,000 videos with a combined 1.2 billion views, but approximately 70% of the videos remained as of September.
“We’ve tried to have a meaningful conversation with them multiple times and been shut down,” Jackel told The Times, adding, “We’re knocking on the door, and nobody is answering. So this lawsuit is kind of the last straw.”
“We agree that content depicting violence or abuse toward animals has no place on YouTube,” a YouTube spokesperson told Insider in a statement.
“While we’ve always had strict policies prohibiting animal abuse content, earlier this year, we expanded our violent and graphic policy to more clearly prohibit content featuring deliberate physical suffering or harm to animals, including staged animal rescues. As with any significant update, it takes time for our systems to fully ramp up enforcement.
Earlier this year, Lady Freethinker shared an investigation with Insider into videos on YouTube of staged animal rescues, in which animals such as dogs and cats were placed near animals like snakes before being taken away by humans.