YouTube Blocks Palestinian Media Watchdog

March 7, 2016

2 min read

The Internet video-sharing portal YouTube removed content from an account belonging to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) on Sunday, March 6 after claiming that PMW had violated YouTube’s terms of service.

PMW, which monitors and exposes incitement in Palestinian media, last posted a video to YouTube on  Thursday March 3. The video showed a Palestinian girl reading a poem on official Palestinian Authority television calling for a “war that will smash the oppressor and destroy the Zionist soul.”

According to PMW, YouTube entirely shut down the group’s primary account. But a check of the portal on Sunday night, March 6, showed that some content on PMW’s “Palwatch” account could still be viewed, while individual videos had been removed.

According to Itamar Marcus, PMW’s founder and director, YouTube has removed PMW material in the past on the grounds that it constituted hateful content.

“In the past, they’ve given us warnings about particular videos because they misinterpret them to be hate speech. Then they would take those videos down, and we would have to explain to them that, in fact, they are designed to expose hate speech. And then they would always repost them,” Marcus told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

PMW’s work on exposing media incitement has been recognized by European governments, and the organization has briefed parliamentarians from around the world. Indeed, on Friday, March 4  a 25-minute debate took place in the Swedish parliament in which the Palestinian Authority’s support for the current terror wave was discussed, with evidence based entirely on PMW documentation.

“There was no warning at all,” Marcus said of the videos’ removal. “They didn’t give any more information than about the violation of terms. We know what the violation was because they have done this before, but they don’t get that it is Palestinian incitement that we are exposing rather than promoting.”

The organization’s YouTube account was shut down in 2010 for similar reasons. After a barrage of complaints, the account was reinstated.

“There is very little you can do. You can try to contact them, but they don’t make it easy to do so. We can send feedback and hope that other people will do the same. Send feedback and all we can do is hope they will respond.”

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