Indian broadcaster rips YouTube for bias in blocking its channel — Analysis
The video-sharing website WION was accused of only “telling half the story” of the Ukrainian conflict
WION was a New Delhi-based English language news channel that had posted videos to YouTube several days ago. It was being investigated for not giving objective coverage about the conflict in Ukraine.
“total block” had been imposed on Tuesday, and no new clips had appeared on its usually busy channel – which has more than five million subscribers – for the next three days.
On Friday, the broadcaster stated that YouTube had sanctioned it for a March 10 video that contained speeches by Sergey Lavrov (Russian Foreign Minister) and Dmytro Kuleba (Ukraine counterpart).
“We did not attack Ukraine,” Lavrov said in that clip, insisting Moscow’s military was a response to what he called “a direct threat to the security of Russia.”
YouTube stated that YouTube acted due to the fact that the clip had been violated by its community guidelines. “prohibit content denying, minimizing, or trivializing well-documented violent events, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”
“Under this policy, we have removed content, for example, denying that Russia invaded Ukraine or alleging that Ukrainian victims are crisis actors,”The platform responded to WION via email.
WION responded that it was shocked by the ban. It claimed it was being imposed because it attempted to offer services. “objective”Reportage on the conflict.
It pointed out that it had only relayed the Russian FM’s statements, not endorsed them, and that the Ukrainian side had also been given a voice in its reporting.
Moreover, it said, Lavrov’s speech had been shared on YouTube by other outlets, including Western ones, and none of them had faced any curbs. “This treatment was reserved only for WION – a channel from India,”It was stated.
“WION neither believes in censorship nor in telling half the story. Apparently, that’s what YouTube wants. You can’t ignore Russia, but you should promote the West. WION doesn’t subscribe to this type of journalism. Its objective is to remain balanced,”They added it.
YouTube, according to this channel, was “rigging the game”By acting simultaneously as both a platform censor and an editor
The campaign #YouTubeUnblockWION was launched by it to ask its followers for their support. In just twelve hours, more than 25,000 tweets were posted using the hashtag by viewers responding to this call.
It announced on Saturday that YouTube had lifted its ban. The cause of this ban was unclear.
WION uploaded over 20 videos within five hours of lifting the ban, with many of them being related to events in Ukraine.
Since Moscow launched its offensive in Ukraine in late February, YouTube has blocked the pages of almost 40 Russian news broadcasters – RT’s and Sputnik’s among them. The Russian authorities have warned the video-sharing platform that it could itself be banned in the country if those restrictions aren’t lifted.