Google restores YouTube account of activist blogger

Alexandra Sandels
4 Min Read

CAIRO: Google has restored the YouTube account belonging to Award-winning Egyptian rights activist and blogger Wael Abbas. The leading video-sharing website pulled the plug on Abbas page a few days ago following user complaints over the brutal content of his videos.When asked about Abbas case, YouTube owner Google previously told Daily News Egypt that, We don t comment on individual accounts but our clear content policies prohibit illegal or inappropriate content. YouTube’s section on rules and regulations state that materials depicting “graphic or gratuitous violence are not permitted. The video sharing giant also reiterates that those who have their accounts terminated due to violation of YouTube regulations “are prohibited from ever signing up for another account. Considered one of the key players in the movement against torture and police brutality in Egypt, Abbas had more than one hundred videos uploaded on his account; the majority of them depicting sensitive issues such as torture, police brutality, anti-government demonstrations, and workers’ strikes in Egypt.YouTube s decision to discontinue the account last week sparked an outcry among activist communities and has attracted the attention of the international press.On Friday, Google decided to reinstall Abbas page “after having reviewed the case. In a response to an inquiry regarding the matter from press freedom group Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Google reiterated that the company s “general policy against graphic violence led to the removal of videos documenting alleged human rights abuses because the context was not apparent. However, Google continues, “having reviewed the case, we have restored the account of Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas – and if he chooses to upload the video again with sufficient context so that users can understand his important message we will of course leave it on the site. Daily News Egypt was able to access Abbas’ YouTube account, which is now filled with comments from viewers on the temporary suspension of the page.”Glad to see you are reinstated. Keep making people uncomfortable. You are obviously doing important work, one comment read.In another twist in the case, Abbas argues that his Yahoo email account recently was disabled for the third time in a row. The incident allegedly took place around the same time as Abbas’ site on YouTube was shut down.”I can’t describe how I feel at the moment. There are no words. You can only imagine how I feel given what has happened. Is it my right to be paranoid and believe that I am targeted and that there is a conspiracy against me? Abbas stated on his Internet blog Misr Digital.Abbas had previously told Daily News Egypt that the involvement of the Egyptian authorities in the suspension of his YouTube account “is not impossible considering Google’s “history with dictatorships – referring to the company’s decision to censor its search services on its Chinese site on orders from Beijing. “This is part of a campaign or a war – an electronic war – against me, Abbas told Fox News.

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