The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media (7amleh Center) found out in a new research on the YouTube policies and violations of the Palestinian digital content that the global platform repeatedly and systematically discriminates against Palestinians.
As the second most important popular platform in Palestine, the research revealed that YouTube’s policies and practices are violating the digital rights of Palestinians.
7amleh Center researcher Amal Nazzal conducted the study using the method of interpretive qualitative research methods and included literature review and in-depth interviews with human rights defenders, activists and journalists.
The findings showed that there is an unclear definition of violence and what is considered “violent content” based on YouTube policies, which, as a result, caused the removal of many Palestinian videos.
Nazal found out that policies discriminatory against Palestinian content such as spatial discrimination, surveillance, and punishment by stopping channels and withholding monetization result in Palestinian feelings of exclusion, discrimination, isolation, anger, and disappointment, and the development of coping strategies and techniques to resist these discriminatory practices.
The report called on YouTube to ensure clarity, transparency, equality and fairness in YouTube’s content policies, including ensuring equal access to information, clarification of policies and guidelines, reducing the use of erroneous artificial intelligence to monitor Palestinian content, enabling an appeals-process and publishing transparency reports.
“This research is a call to encourage collaboration and mobilization at the international, and in particular the Palestinian, levels to show how YouTube violates Palestinian rights and to resist it,” said Nazzal. “Counter to YouTube’s promise to be a space where every user has equal rights of participating and belonging, this research reveals how YouTube’s policies and practices are biased and discriminate against Palestinians. This discrimination includes techniques of high-surveillance, which lead to incidents of exclusion, isolation, and demotivation.”