YouTube criticised for not removing Alesha MacPhail’s killer’s videos

YouTube has been criticised for giving a voice to the Scottish teenager who abducted, raped and murdered six-year-old girl Alesha MacPhail.

Aaron Campbell. Picture: Police Scotland
Aaron Campbell. Picture: Police Scotland

Aaron Campbell, 17, was sentenced to life in prison in February for the murder of Alesha on the Isle of Bute in July last year.

The video-sharing site is refusing to remove videos of Campbell, which were originally uploaded to his YouTube channel, showing him performing “cool tricks” on a trampoline, talking to his social media fans and pleading for more followers.

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Kathryn Tremlett, harmful content manager at the UK Safer Internet Centre, said: “As a convicted murderer, he has forgone his voice on the channel. YouTube should do more to make sure this content is not on its platform.

“There should be pre-moderation on content being uploaded on YouTube and other platforms and spot checks need to be increased in the future.”

The videos of Campbell, who wanted to be a YouTube star, have been viewed thousands of times.

Google-owned YouTube banned Campbell’s YouTube channel as a mark of respect to Alesha and her family after he was convicted.

But since then YouTube users have uploaded some of Campbell’s videos, some of which have been edited, and YouTube said they are allowed to be shown.

YouTube said it had removed Campbell’s channel as it violated its guidelines.

But it said that “re-uploads” of individual videos from Campbell’s YouTube channel were allowed to remain on the platform, as the content itself did not violate its guidelines.

One of the videos of Campbell uploaded by a user has been viewed more than 4,500 times.

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Some of the comments on the video call for revenge on Campbell.

One says, “A bullet in your head is how I want it”, while another says, “I hope you suffer every day for the rest of your life”.

But at least one comment appears to praise Campbell, saying: “Keep it up”.

The video has been uploaded by a YouTube account called Fechitor Rachimov, which has 103 subscribers.

The account has also posted videos of right-wing commentator Alex Jones trading insults with diners in a Texas restaurant and a video entitled “Mosul before Isis occupation”, which shows footage of the city before it was bombed.

Campbell last month appealed against the 27-year minimum sentence handed down to him.