YouTube is censoring SouthFront’s new 1.5-hour long video “Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018“.
This video is a detailed summary of military and political developments in Syria since the start of the Russian military operation until now. It was released by SouthFront on August 11.
Less than 2 hours after the release, this video was placed behind an age restriction because it allegedly includes “violent or graphic content that appears to be posted in a shocking, sensational, or disrespectful manner”. The age-restriction clearly impacts a possible reach of the video because it does not allow people without YouTube accounts to watch it.
SouthFront immidiately appealed this age restriction. Our video “Russian Military Campaign in Syria 2015-2018” includes no “graphic content” and was made solely for informational purposes. So, it does not violate any rules.
After the further review, YouTube found that SouthFront’s video “does not violate” Community Guidelines. However, the video remained age-restricted because “it may not be appropriate for a general audience”.
Summing up: The video violates no YouTube Community Guidelines, but despite this, a manual decision was made to age-restrict the video in order to limit its possible reach of the audience. This situation can be considered as another example of censorship imposed against alternative media and an independent point of view.
SouthFront has repeatedly faced various sophisticated attacks aimed at censoring it on YouTube [systematic ‘false flagging’ and other hostile actions] or damaging its website.
For example, about a year ago, SouthFront became a target of preplanned campaign to damage its work:
In mid September 2017, SouthFront’s YouTube channel received two community guidelines strikes and its work on this platform was temporairly frozen. Then, thanks to public support of our audience and partners, SouthFront was able to restore its channel and continue releasing videos on YouTube.
Separately, the projet faced a new wave of propaganda aimed at damaging it in the MSM. In October 2017, Military.com, The Hill, McClatchyDC and The Daily Beast united their efforts arguing that SouthFront among few other websites targets “US military personnel and veterans with conspiracy theories, misinformation, and other forms of junk news about military affairs and national security issues.”
The recent developments on YouTube may indicate that a similar campaign could be launched against SouthFront once again soon.
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