Human Rights Group Migrate Content To Odysee After YouTube Removes Xinjiang Posts: Reuters

A human rights group is migrating its videos to little-known service Odysee after Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google's YouTube removed some of them, Reuters reported.

What Happened: The group attracted millions of views on YouTube to testimonies from people admitting their families' disappearance in China's Xinjiang region.

Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights' channel has published nearly 11,000 videos on YouTube totaling over 120 million views since 2017.

UN experts and rights groups estimate that over a million people were detained in Xinjiang lately.

On June 15, YouTube blocked the channel for violating its guidelines under the 'cyberbullying and harassment policy.

The channel's administrators had appealed the blocking of all twelve videos between April and June. They reinstated some of the videos. However, YouTube did not explain blocking the videos.

YouTube restored the channel in response to Reuters' queries. They justified the removal by citing multiple "strikes" for the videos, which contained people holding up ID cards to prove they were related to the missing. They reinstated the channel on June 18 but asked Atajurt to blur the IDs. YouTube prohibits personally identifiable information from appearing in its content.

Atajurt hesitated to comply, fearing the loss of credibility of the videos and decided to back up content to Odysee, a website built on a blockchain protocol called LBRY. It has migrated 975 videos so far.

The channel administrator, while migrating, received automated messages from YouTube stating the videos potentially promote violent criminal organizations. YouTube said the videos were kept private to allow administrators' edits.

Why It Matters: Atajurt representatives fear pro-China groups are using YouTube's reporting features to remove their content, triggering an automatic block. Representatives shared videos on WhatsApp and Telegram with Reuters, which they said described how to report Atajurt's YouTube videos. They also pointed to multiple YouTube channels containing videos of Atajurt co-founder Serikzhan Bilash's face superimposed onto animals.

YouTube acknowledged support for responsible efforts to document important global human rights cases. Atajurt did not meet its criteria as per the company.

Odysee admitted its support towards Atajurt to Reuters.

Atajurt plans to keep uploading to YouTube as long as it can due to its more extensive audience base.

Price action: GOOG shares traded lower by 0.06% at $2,544 on the last check Friday.

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