YouTube removed videos documenting human rights violations in Xinjiang

YouTube is under fire for cracking down on videos documenting China’s alleged abuses against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang province. Reuters possesses learned that YouTube deleted a dozen videos of Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights, and at one point, deleted the channel itself, for allegedly violating the site’s anti-harassment policy through videos about missing people at Xinjiang. The site told Atajurt it received numerous “strikes” over videos in which people held up ID cards to show they were linked to missing Xinjiang residents, breaking a rule banning the disclosure of personal information. sensitive.

The withdrawals followed reports from anonymous parties.

YouTube restored some of the videos after the calls, but didn’t explain why some of them stayed out of sight. The company has asked Atajurt to scramble or cut some of the IDs, but the channel is reluctant to do so because it could damage the credibility of the videos. YouTube deleted the channel on June 15 for the alleged violations and restored it three days later after “careful consideration” of an appeal, a spokesperson told Engadget.

Atajurt saves his videos via Odysee, a blockchainYouTube-based platform, in case YouTube removes them. However, he has no plans to stop posting videos through Google’s platform.

YouTube told Engadget that it was receptive to videos documenting human rights violations and knew Atajurt did not have a sinister intention in showing the ID cards. However, he argued that the rights group did not have enough “educational, documentary, scientific and artistic content” to allow an exception to its policies.

The withdrawals raise questions about both the clarity of YouTube’s policies and the origin of the requests. While Atajurt appears to have broken some rules, it’s unclear exactly how this applies to each video, or why the group didn’t count as an exception. It’s also noteworthy that the withdrawals came after the reports, rather than YouTube’s own moderation practices. Atajurt said he was concerned that the withdrawal requests could come from pro-Chinese factions trying to suppress the horror stories unfolding in Xinjiang. YouTube could be caught in the middle of an ideological fight and may have inadvertently helped the party trying to cover up terrible acts.

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