Donetsk (GPA) – In the latest sweeps on “pro-Russian fake news,” Donbass News Agency has been removed from YouTube for covering Ukrainian war crimes.
Western censors targeted a crucial source of information yesterday, shutting down the English language YouTube channel for the Donbass News Agency (DONi). DONi is one of the top sources documenting Ukrainian war crimes and ceasefire violations, yet according to YouTube, their channel was guilty of “violations of many or serious types of spam, fraudulent activity, and misleading content or other YouTube practices.”
This move by YouTube is an outrage since DONi was not biased but just recorded the war crimes of Kiev in a conflict most westerners don’t even remember is happening. Geopolitics Alert has used DONi as a source several times due to their coverage of events western media fully ignores.
The removal of the DONi channel on YouTube is just part of a larger ongoing crackdown against independent media. YouTube is not only trying to clear up independent news as they try to push customers towards their premium content plans but is also facing backlash from the US government for “allowing Russia to interfere in the election.”
It’s not just YouTube
All of the major social media sites appeared in front of Congress recently, where they were all threatened with regulation if they didn’t begin self-censorship.
This censorship is now across all social media platforms and doesn’t just apply to “pro-Russian” content. Censors have also begun deleting profiles that report the truth about countries like Syria and Yemen. The new censorship rules aren’t just pro-US but also meant to keep disparaging news about regimes in places like Israel and Saudi Arabia away from the masses.
The editors of Geopolitics Alert have also not been immune with one editor having their Facebook deactivated for a week for “showing terrorist images,” relating to a photo involving IS. Another one of our editors is also currently blacklisted from Facebook for images showing either Hezbollah in Syria or Ansarullah in Yemen.
There have also been sweeps on Twitter of users sympathetic to Hezbollah, the Syrian government, Iran, Russia and the Houthis. Several of our editors’ own contacts on the ground in these regions have also been removed from Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as part of these new policies.
This censorship only stands to get worse as the major social media sites are also announcing new policies such as tracking users internet activity even when they’re not using the platform. According to Twitter, this is to stop “hate groups” such as Nazis or ISIS but it will obviously also be used to shut down anti-imperialist voices who oppose the US as well as the Saudis and Israel who are heavily invested in social media companies.
The new policy will also share information between social networking sites so there will be no more switching platforms. Once you’re banned on one, you’re banned on all.
Couple this with the new algorithms on sites like Facebook to block out independent news from followers feeds (unless the organizations pay) and the situation for indie media continues to look increasingly bleak.
Also published on Medium.