A human rights group has been forced to remove their videos from YouTube and post them on another video sharing platform after the Google-owned company shut down their exposure of the Chinese Communist Government’s genocide / extermination program against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang and elsewhere. YouTube shut down the nonprofit’s account for allegedly violating the company’s terms of service. In once instance, the corporate giant claimed that the videos were promoting violent criminal organizations, which is a common tactic that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) uses to discredit dissenters.
Serikzhan Bilash, a co-founder of Atajurt, a human rights group, told Reuters that YouTube comes up with “another excuse every day,” for why their content is unacceptable. Bilash said that they aren’t concerned anymore though because the organization is backing up their content with blockchain encoding called LBRY to ensure their “material’s safety.”
Atajurt gathered the attention of millions in recent years for sharing information about victims and families of victims who are subject to the ongoing Uyghur genocide in China. But with YouTube actively silencing them, the nonprofit is now moving their archive of content to an alternative video hosting service called Odysee.
Atajurt has been credited for drawing attention to the human rights violations in Xingjiang by organizations such as Human Rights Watch, but has been targeted by authorities in regions such as Kazakhstan since they opened doors in 2017.
Bilash was born in Xinjiang himself, and has been arrested by Kazakh authorities on multiple occasions. He has been instructed by authorities to stop using terms such as “genocide” to describe the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs and other targeted ethnic minorities. Bilash says that the gag order traces back to the CCP, which has influence over the Kazakh authorities.
Bilash explained that the videos posted by Atajurt simply report the facts in the form of testimonies from firsthand witnesses.
YouTube continued to block certain videos of Atajurt’s throughout the first part of the year, each requiring an appeal from the uploader. The video giant removed videos without even giving an answer as to why there were taken down. On June 15, YouTube blocked the channel outright, claiming that they were guilty of “cyberbullying and harassment.” Curiously, after Reuters sought comment on the issue, YouTube reinstated the channel.
YouTube said that the channel could continue only if it censored the names of the people who are interviewed, which the channel’s administrator doesn’t feel comfortable with as such censorship would jeopardize their trustworthiness.
In fear of another block from YouTube, the group is relocating their archive to Odysee, a website which utilizes blockchain protocol LBRY. The group has moved about 975 of their videos so far.
Bilash laments having to leave YouTube, building an audience there took time, and the exposure and reach that they can have on alternative websites such as Odysee is very limited. While YouTube can’t remove Atajurt from the internet, removing them from the platform is almost as bad since the tech giant enjoys an almost-total monopoly on online video hosting.
The CCP has reportedly imprisoned over 1 million Uyghurs in what they call “de-radicalization centers,” Human rights activists point out that the centers are the same or worse than prison camps. The camps force captured people to denounce their religion, culture, native language, and pledge total allegiance and obedience to the CCP and President Xi Jinping. The Associated Press reported that Uyghur women undergo forced sterilization.
YouTube is in bed with the CCP, covering for a nation and a party that seeks to eradicate Christianity, impose communism, cover up their responsibility for the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeks to conquer it’s neighbors. YouTube, and Google by extension, are literally covering up atrocities that are the modern equivalent of Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
Author: Lee Simmons