Jewish Council Secretary General Stephan Kramer called the US search engine giant and its video platform “accomplices in racial hatred and discrimination,” the German press agency DPA reported on Friday.
The council filed a preliminary injunction against Google, which owns YouTube, in a Hamburg court. Kramer said the companies should hire staffers to police content and ensure extremist videos are removed immediately.
“The far-right scene uses YouTube massively as a platform,” Kramer told DPA.
A video that used swastikas as a backdrop for a burning photo of former Jewish Council president Paul Spiegel stayed up on YouTube for months, he said.
“We are aware of our responsibility,” Google spokesman Kay Oberbeck said at an anti-Nazi event in Hamburg.
Oberbeck said Google has worked for more than three years with a German volunteer oversight group to sift out content harmful to minors. YouTube also relies on users to report inappropriate content.
Publishing Nazi symbols and right-wing extremist materials is illegal in Germany, but the global nature of the internet has posed problems for the country's authorities.