Yemeni Media Union meets regarding ongoing social media censorship

Yemeni Media Union meets regarding ongoing social media censorship

The Yemeni Media Union (YMU) organized today in Sana’a an extensive meeting for media professionals, intellectuals and writers, discussing the escalation of the social networking companies YouTube and Facebook against the Yemeni media channels and ways to respond to them.

In the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of the Yemeni News Agency “Saba” – Editor-in-Chief, Nasr al-Din Amer, confirmed that the deletion of Yemeni channels from the media Platform YouTube was not a new precedent, but rather an extension of steps that took place years ago.

Amer explained that the deletion of Yemeni channels on YouTube was a planned and deliberate act by the aggression with the aim of distorting the grievances of the Yemenis and presenting the Saudi side as a mediator which has not committed any massacres against Yemen and its people.

He pointed out that the deletion of the national Yemeni channels is carried out according to Saudi measures and its profane money, as it included, after deleting the channels, sending an email that the channels support a violent organization, and there are no standards that talk about obscene or unviewable scenes.

Amir stressed the importance of taking a strong stance towards deleting the Yemeni channels from YouTube, and restoring the archives included in the channels to the public through the Internet in private sites, and not allowing this historical stage to be erased.

In the meeting, the head of the Yemeni Media Union, Abdul Rahman Al-Ahnoumi, reviewed a report on what the Yemeni media is exposed to on social media platforms.

He stated that the Yemeni media is being subjected to dangerous, escalating and unprecedented targeting by social media companies, YouTube and Facebook, calling for solidarity in the face of this targeting, condemnation, rejection, and mobilization to confront the response to it.

Al-Ahnoumi explained that YouTube recently deleted 70 Yemeni channels, including 50 affiliated with Yemeni media institutions, war media ,Yemeni media centers, and 20 Yemeni channels affiliated with Yemeni media professionals, vocalists and media offices in the provinces.

He stated that the subscribers of these channels are more than 8 million, while their views reach hundreds of millions.

Al-Ahnoumi indicated that the YouTube company had deleted cultural channels that provide cultural content, and removed content from other channels while removing most of the content documenting the crimes of the coalition and restricting its access and limiting its spread.

He pointed out that the correspondence with the management of the YouTube company confirmed that the matter was not subject to the standards and policies followed by the company regarding the content, but rather considering all Yemeni cultural content or related to crimes of coalition or scenes of victories, even political content, as promotion for a criminal organization.

The report said: “YouTube clearly shares with the Saudi-led coalition its crimes by seeking to remove any content documenting their actions of aggression against Yemenis.”

He added, “The Facebook administration has deleted 80 percent of the accounts of Yemeni media professionals, and most of them are forced to create other accounts frequently.”

Meanwhile,  the media activist Muhammad Mansour, the cultural activist Muhammad al-Abed and the political activist Hamid Rizk talked about the escalation of the companies YouTube and Facebook, and the importance of confronting this escalation and responding to the deletion of channels with strong measures beyond expectations.

The statement confirmed that YouTube’s targeting of Yemeni national media is systematic and that media and intellectual terrorism aims to silence the Yemeni voice, and that the removal of content documenting the crimes of the coalition against Yemen is an open collusion with the coalition.

The statement called on the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to quickly take the necessary measures to close and block the “YouTube and Facebook” sites and ban them within the geographical scope of the Republic of Yemen.