YouTube Removes the Bellingcat channel for a Short time. YouTube briefly removed the video channel of research collective Bellingcat on Tuesday.
After Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins complained about this on Twitter, YouTube put the videos back online.
The YouTube notification that Higgins received shows that the video service suspended the channel for displaying “unnecessary violence.”
It is not surprising that violence can be seen on the Bellingcat channel:
the online research collective specialises in digital research into conflict areas.
With that research, Bellingcat has achieved significant successes in recent years.
For example, the investigators mapped out various war crimes and human rights violations in Syria,
and uncovered the required information about the two Russian men suspected of poisoning the ex-spy Sergey Skripal.
Bellingcat also did extensive research into the downing of the MH17.
The research collective discovered, among other things,
that the Buk rocket that was used to shoot the aircraft came from the 53rd brigade in Kursk, Russia.
The open-source researchers also discovered the identity of the soldiers involved.
According to Higgins, it was not the first time YouTube removed a channel from him.
Two years ago that happened with another channel from him.
“After a lot of talking back and forth, they restored that at the time.
So it’s not like they don’t know what Bellingcat is”, he tweeted Tuesday morning.
Higgins, who had planned to work on a new MH17 report on Tuesday,
did not hide his cynicism about YouTube’s performance.
“Maybe I should have put some conspiracy theories on my channel.”
That leaves YouTube undisturbed, he said.
YouTube is taking harder action against controversial channels in the past.
The new policy, which is aimed, among other things, at keeping neo-Nazis away from the site,
also regularly leads to the disappearance of bona fide channels.
For example, YouTube removed the channels of several history teachers last week,
because they used archive material from Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders.
The entire video archive of the Alkmaar Regional Archive was also excluded because of “hate-seeding” images from the Second World War.
In all cases, YouTube decided to put the channels back again after a fuss arose.
The Bellingcat channel also came online again on Tuesday.