Ron Friedman, YouTube reinstates Palestinian Media Watch channel, Jerusalem Post, 20 December 2010.
The video sharing website originally removed the PMW video channel for violating its community guidelines.
Following a report in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, video-sharing website YouTube reinstated Palestinian Media Watch’s channel on Monday.
YouTube had removed the channel, which exposes anti- Israel incitement broadcast on Arab media, for violating its community guidelines on hate speech. PMW director Itamar Marcus claims Palestinian Authority officials were behind the move.
“I am convinced that this was an attempt by the Palestinian Authority to remove the videos and close us down. It’s part of a pattern. Everywhere we go, they constantly come at us,” said Marcus.
Marcus said that the Palestinians wanted to shut down PMW because it provided the world with proof of Palestinian incitement against Israel.
The videos that were removed all showed examples of hate speech propagated against Israelis and Jews, material that, according to Marcus, the Palestinians preferred to keep hidden from wide viewing.
“They can’t attack what we say because the material speaks for itself, so they try to delegitimize us and take advantage of YouTube’s automated system to remove our material from the Internet,” said Marcus.
Marcus said that he was glad that the videos were back up, but said that there were still problems in the system.
He said that searching for the videos individually was now more difficult because the automatically generated ranking system had been altered and videos that had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times were not given the high ranking they should have merited.
Marcus said he hoped it was only a technical glitch and that it would be remedied in the upcoming days.
“It seems someone, or some group of new media anti-Israel activists, is gaming the system,” said Dr. Andre Oboler, the director of the Community Internet Engagement Project at the Zionist Federation of Australia, in an interview with Honestreporting.com.
“They are taking advantage of YouTube’s automated and semi-automated systems to push their agenda slowly through the system. First one complaint, then a second…
until eventually the goal is achieved and the channel itself is shut down,” Oboler said. “Until YouTube can improve the system, and recognize when people are trying to ‘trick’ the system into doing what they want, rather than what it is intended to do, we all have a serious problem.”
Oboler added, “For now, YouTube needs to find the accounts that are causing these problems and deactivate them.
This problem is far greater than Palestinian Media Watch, though the damage done to them must be fixed, and an apology wouldn’t hurt either.”
Marcus said he had never heard from YouTube representatives, either before or after the videos were reinstated.
The Post’s request for an explanation also had yet to be answered.