YouTube Ends Accounts of News Agencies Run by Syrian Regime

YouTube Ends Accounts of News Agencies Run by Syrian Regime
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Published September 10th, 2018 - 10:00 GMT via

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YouTube has terminated accounts of news agencies and media outlets run by the Syrian regime, days after a report exposed the channels were generating ad revenue.

The video streaming giant banned the accounts of the state-run SANA news agency, the Ministry of Defence and the Syrian Presidency on Saturday.

The accounts have been taken down over "violations to platform's terms of service and legal complaints", according to messages received when trying to access the channels.



The move comes after online news website TomoNews revealed the regime-run accounts were generating advertising revenue in violation of U.S. sanctions.

The sanctions ban U.S. companies from providing services to Syria without obtaining a licence from the Treasury Department, according to the report.

The investigation by the Taiwan-based outlet showed the accounts were running advertisements from major U.S. companies and even U.S. President Donald Trump.

Pro-regime social media users have condemned the move, arguing it will erase the documentation of the conflict in Syria.

Last year, YouTube removed hundreds of thousands of videos from the Syrian conflict after it implemented new policies to remove material considered graphic or endorsing terrorism.

Syrian activists at the time similarly decried the move, saying crucial evidence of human rights violations by the regime were at risk of being lost.

Activists used YouTube first to report on the peaceful protests that erupted in 2011 against the rule of President Bashar Assad, using videos taken on mobile phones.

As the conflict got bloody, due to Assad's violent suppression of the peaceful process, the videos became more graphic.

Activists began recording the aftermath of chemical attacks, spectacular aerial bombings, rescuers pulling children from rubble, and new strikes hitting rescuers and survivors.

In June, Facebook and Twitter shut down accounts run by Lebanese militia Hizballah - a close ally of the Assad regime - after an Israeli minister threatened to take legal action if the pages were not blocked.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

Copyright @ 2018 The New Arab.

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