“The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” Has Been Age-Restricted on YouTube

“The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” Has Been Age-Restricted on YouTube

As part of their beyond-the-headlines series Fault Lines, Al Jazeera released a film titled “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” on December 1, 2022 on YouTube. The film investigated the killing of the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh due to bullets fired by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and included interviews of eyewitnesses and members of Abu Akleh’s family.

On December 15, the executive producer of the film, Laila Al-Arian, tweeted that it had been  age-restricted on YouTube, requiring users to log in to view the film. 

When users first click on the video, YouTube displays a message: “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.” Even when logged in as an over-18 account, users must click to proceed to the video.

Al-Arian wrote, “It’s hard not to conclude that our film on the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh is being censored. It’s my understanding that pro-Israel accounts report videos they don’t like and that YouTube responds in kind, though [it is] unclear if it’s an algorithm or person going through these reports.”

Questions have been raised about online platforms’ policies on restricting content that includes criticism of Israel, as most recently, Facebook faced criticism in May 2021 for its removal of nearly 500 pro-Palestine posts without explanation. 

Watch “The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh” here:

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