Social Media Censorship Destroying Evidence of War Crimes, Report Claims

KYIV, UKRAINE – MAY 8: People walk past cars wrecked by the fall of the downed Shahed kamikaze drone on May 8, 2023 in Kyiv, Ukraine. In Kyiv, the downed Shahed kamikaze drones fell in several districts of the city, damaging residential buildings, cars, and the roadway. (Photo by Oleksandr …
Oleksandr Gusev/Global Images Ukraine via Getty Images

A.I.-powered censorship regimes on social media platforms are reportedly destroying evidence of war crimes, the BBC.

Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Youtube have allegedly been erasing footage of war crimes that took place in the likes of Syria and Ukraine, even when such footage does not go against their terms of service.

Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, big tech companies have embraced regimes of mass censorship in the hopes of appeasing progressives, developing algorithms that can rip content from their sites in a matter of minutes should it be deemed undesirable.

According to a report by the BBC however, such algorithms are now putting investigations into war crimes in danger, with graphic footage depicting human rights abuses and dead civilians being quickly erased from online platforms without archived copies stored.

Though numerous companies in the sector ostensibly allow in their policies the posting of graphic content that is in the public interest, the UK broadcaster claims that it has repeatedly had problems with test-uploads of footage online.

In one instance, journalists from the organisation attempted to upload four separate videos to both Instagram and Youtube to “dummy” accounts which depicted evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

Instagram reportedly deleted three of the four videos within a minute, while all four of the videos were stripped from Youtube within ten.

Such rapid and comprehensive censorship now could put investigations into war crimes in jeopardy, with the outlet describing how social media deletions appear to have erased footage allegedly depicting the aftermath of a Syrian government bombing against civilians from existence.

Footage of the alleged war crime was reportedly recorded by a local television station before being uploaded to Youtube and Facebook.

The TV station is later said to have lost the footage due to further bombing, leaving the American social media companies with the sole remaining copies of the footage.

However, the BBC now says that such footage has been stripped from both social media websites.

With the broadcaster also suggesting that the deletion of such alleged war crime footage has possibly jeopardised asylum claims in Europe, it appears likely that the erasure of such footage is an unintended consequence of the massive uptick in censorship online.

Pushed heavily by progressives in both public and private positions of power, attempts to scrub “disinformation” from the internet have only expanded in recent years, with the European Union preparing to deploy new laws forcing even stricter speech controls in August.

Such a crusade has been met with a growing level of resistance however, with Elon Musk’s Twitter pulling out of the bloc’s voluntary online censorship programme last week, much to the chagrin of Brussels.

Eurocrats have nevertheless insisted that the platform will be thrown out of the bloc if it opts to refuse future censorship demands, with one bigwig telling the platform that it can “run”, but it “can’t hide”.

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