Social media giant YouTube temporarily blocked a video of Russian opposition figure, and anti-corruption activist, Alexei Navalny in which he called for a boycott of the 2018 Russia presidential election. The stated reason was due to ‘illegal hashtags’.
“YouTube allegedly took down the video because it contained “illegal” hashtags, Navalny explained in a post on his website, citing a formal explanation from YouTube. The video contained hashtags including #strike #Navalny2018 and #28January. It was back on the website later on Thursday, this time without hashtags,” wrote The Moscow Times.
“YouTube eventually told us that the video call to participate [in the boycott] on Jan. 28 was deleted erroneously and they apologize,” Navalny wrote on his blog that day, reported The Moscow Times.
YouTube, owned by Google, has been under severe criticism in the U.S. for censoring conservative, pro-Trump videos, and for limiting conservative content. Navalny’s organization has accused the company of trending pro-Kremlin videos and limiting anti-Putin content as well.
“It’s becoming obvious that there is ill intent and that this is deliberate discrimination on political grounds,” stated Navalny.
Internet and social media sensation Mike Cernovich recently accused YouTube of censoring his content when YouTube banned a video covering Islamic migration into many European countries and restricted its dissemination within the United States.