“A human rights group that attracted millions of views on YouTube to testimonies from people who say their families have disappeared in China’s Xinjiang region is moving its videos to little-known service Odysee after some were taken down by the Google-owned streaming giant, two sources told Reuters.”
Long-time Slashdot reader sinij shares their report:
Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights’ channel has published nearly 11,000 videos on YouTube totaling over 120 million views since 2017, thousands of which feature people speaking to camera about relatives they say have disappeared without a trace in China’s Xinjiang region, where UN experts and rights groups estimate over a million people have been detained in recent years. On June 15, the channel was blocked for violating YouTube’s guidelines, according to a screenshot seen by Reuters, after twelve of its videos had been reported for breaching its ‘cyberbullying and harassment’ policy. The channel’s administrators had appealed the blocking of all twelve videos between April and June, with some reinstated — but YouTube did not provide an explanation as to why others were kept out of public view, the administrators told Reuters.
Following inquiries from Reuters as to why the channel was removed, YouTube restored it on June 18, explaining that it had received multiple so-called ‘strikes’ for videos which contained people holding up ID cards to prove they were related to the missing, violating a YouTube policy which prohibits personally identifiable information from appearing in its content… YouTube asked Atajurt to blur the IDs. But Atajurt is hesitant to comply, the channel’s administrator said, concerned that doing so would jeopardize the trustworthiness of the videos. Fearing further blocking by YouTube, they decided to back up content to Odysee, a website built on a blockchain protocol called LBRY, designed to give creators more control. About 975 videos have been moved so far.
Even as administrators were moving content, they received another series of automated messages from YouTube stating that the videos in question had been removed from public view, this time because of concerns that they may promote violent criminal organizations… Atajurt representatives fear pro-China groups who deny that human rights abuses exist in Xinjiang are using YouTube’s reporting features to remove their content by reporting it en masse, triggering an automatic block. Representatives shared videos on WhatsApp and Telegram with Reuters which they said described how to report Atajurt’s YouTube videos.
An activist working with the group told Reuters he’s also faced offline challenges — including having his hard disks and cellphones confiscated multiple times in Kazakhstan.
This meant that the only place where they’d stored their entire video collection was YouTube.
“I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware.”
— Peter da Silva