YouTube, an American online video-sharing and social media platform, has “arbitrarily” blocked access to more than a dozen channels affiliated with Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement without giving any prior notice.
The Monday attack targeted 18 channels of the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center, Ansarullah movement as well as its art and documentary production unit.
In a statement, the media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center slammed the move as an act of “intellectual terrorism,” and criticized the US social media platforms’ “hypocritical policies.”
The shutdown of Ansarullah’s platforms is an “outward manifestation of double standards and hypocritical policies of American social media platforms, and their support for the hostilities being perpetrated by the Saudi-led military coalition,” the statement said.
YouTube is “seeking to harness the media assets of the Saudi-led coalition of aggression to serve their colonial agendas,” it added.
The suspended channels reportedly had more than 500 thousand subscribers, with more than 7 thousand videos and more than 90 million views.
This is not the first time that YouTube and other social medial platforms like Facebook and Twitter have deleted Yemeni accounts or pages without any prior notice or justification.
The latest move constitutes a violation of freedom of speech and expression since many of the deleted channels actually used to post content related to arts and music, and had nothing to do with the promotion of hatred or incitement to violence.
In June 2021, the US Justice Department seized the website domain of the Yemeni Arabic-language al-Masirah television channel along with nearly three dozen other regional websites.
Among the sites abruptly taken offline were those of Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, its Arabic channel al-Alam, and three websites operated by the Iraqi anti-terror Kata’ib Hezbollah group.
The move comes amid an 8-year Saudi-led war and economic blockade against Yemen, which has turned the country into what the UN calls the "worst humanitarian crisis" on earth.