The New York Times published an article late Thursday castigating YouTube for removing the channel of British left-wing news channel Novara Media.
The article, titled “How a Mistake by YouTube Shows Its Power Over Media,” criticized the tech platform’s “opaque and sometimes arbitrarily enforced” rules, describing the company as an information “gatekeeper.”
Novara, a British news company publishing “left-leaning” content according to the NYT, had its YouTube channel removed Tuesday for several hours. The company posted a statement to its Twitter account informing the public that its channel had been deleted and then reinstated, with YouTube claiming the channel’s suspension was a mistake.
“They are a monopoly, there is no alternative,” Novara employee Michael Walker told the NYT. “If we move to Vimeo or whatever other platform, we wouldn’t acquire the viewers.”
The NYT described Novara as “unapologetically left-wing” and lamented its plight, along with that of “independent journalists, activists and creators” who were removed from YouTube.
“We had this ambient awareness of our dependence on these big tech platforms,” contributing editor Ash Sarkar told the NYT. “But there’s nothing like having your livelihood snatched away from you to make you feel really disempowered.”
YouTube has recently ramped up efforts to remove content it deems harmful, banning certain claims about vaccines.
The tech platform claimed it had mistakenly deleted former Congressman Ron Paul’s YouTube channel in late September, reinstating it following public outcry. YouTube also reinstated a channel from conservative advocacy group American Principles Project earlier this month after it had deleted the channel for violating YouTube’s policy on re-uploading content from deleted accounts.
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