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Inciting or Deterring? YouTube Forced to Shut Down Palestinian Media Watch

PalWatch
Palestinian Media Watch is essentially a confusing research center; studying their society from afar and spreading awareness on the ever growing and dangerous hate between race and religion. They use social media as a platform to spread their findings and in turn have caused a bucket load of controversy.

Their YouTube channel, sporting a hefty 4401 subscribers, uploads an array of shocking videos that range from a child giving demonstrations of how to effectively stab someone to two videos that earn't them a sore telling off and ban.

The latest video shows viewers a small child reading a poem. Usually, this would be quite a sweet sight to see, however the poems subject is calling for a 'war that will smash the oppressor and destroy the Zionist soul.' A topic that clearly violates YouTube's terms and conditions of not airing anything with hateful content.

For those of you not in the know (as it isn't a widely used term) the Zionist soul or more specifically Zionism correlates with Jewish Nationalism and is the belief that the Jewish race should have their own nation - separate from their Palestinian neighbors. The movement gained much support among the Jewish and others in the early twentieth century - it was then established in the late 1940's as the state of Israel, thus followed the opposition from of the Arab nation which caused heinous bloodshed.

Commenting on the controversy, Company Director Itamar Marcus told Tazpit Press Service:
"In the past, they've given us warnings about particular videos because they misinterpret them to be hate speech. Then they would take those videos down, and we would have to explain to them that, in fact, they are designed to expose hate speech. And then they would always re-post them"

Palestine Media Watch's views beg the question; are they really exposing the culprits, heeding a valuable warning and showing us their findings of their studies? Or are they in fact an inadvertent platform, broadcasting and showcasing hate content that could make the whole situation worse? Not only does it allow access to a wider audience but as with most things today, their message can be used negatively or just have a ripple effect; further inciting yet more hate between both parties and adding fuel to the fear fire. After all, isn't ignorance supposed to be bliss?

YouTube clearly thought that the video was not adhering to their rules and was perhaps a danger, so the channel was blocked. For the grand total of a day. In 2010 the channel was also blocked from their server for the exact same reason; posting yet another video of uncensored hate speech. In the video a Hamas terrorist was urging Palestinians to 'drink the blood of Jews' but it was reactivated a month later after an uproar from the subscribers, who were outraged at its removal. 

Clearly their audience feel strongly about PMW's channel and their message, which is something that YouTube can't escape from and it leaves them in a very tricky situation as their viewers and the directors see this as a breech of freedom of speech. As well as an unnecessary block on their purely sociological and anthropological research.

However, if YouTube really felt the need to block their channel, something they so rarely do, then why were they only blocked for day? It does send a message to them that their content is not approved of, however its a very meek message and one that will undoubtedly have little to no effect. The group are using their social media for a very passionate and integral issue in the middle east and a day's blocking will not sway them from their motive. They also have their own website updated with news and examples of further issues, such as child soldiers and articles about the notorious suicide bombers.

Upon reading their website it is much easier to interpret their stand point and why they deem their blocking unnecessary. On their website there is no direct promotion or incitement of hate, in fact their articles are very informative and objectively written from the view point of a researcher. They are educating people on the psyche behind these terror threats and the people behind them as well as showing examples of the rallies, hate speeches, bizarre instructional videos and scare mongering. 

Perhaps the Palestinian Media Watch should stick to what is safe and keep updating their website, rather then trying to show us their findings through YouTube and risking being accused of hatred or slapped with a further ban. Controversy is always a great tool in the media world, but it can also be a thin line to walk.



Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn


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Inciting or Deterring? YouTube Forced to Shut Down Palestinian Media Watch Reviewed by Robyn Tillett on Monday, March 07, 2016 Rating: 5

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