YouTube temporarily removed the livestreams of both Breitbart News and Right Side Broadcasting Network covering the Senate impeachment trial, in what the platform said was an error.
The Google-owned platform also took down a Breitbart News livestream of the Virginia Second Amendment rally, for reasons it has not yet explained. Monday’s gun rally livestream was taken down approximately one and a half hours after broadcasting began at 6:57 am eastern time on the day of the rally.
A YouTube spokesman said the removal of the impeachment stream was an accident, caused by an error in its Content ID system, which scans all new videos for copyrighted content. The spokesman says the issue was “quickly resolved” and was not due to any political bias.
“Both our policies and our copyright system do not have any concept of political affiliation and multiple channels were impacted, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum,” said the spokesman.
However, a post from Right Side Broadcasting Network, which had its impeachment livestream taken down by YouTube at the same time, appears to indicate that a number of left-wing and mainstream channels were immune from the apparently accidental Content ID failure.
We were streaming the SAME #ImpeachmentTrial from the SAME source (U.S. Senate) as all these (and many other) media outlets, yet our feed gets removed for 'inappropriate content' & the other videos stay up. We've reached out to @YouTube & are awaiting a response. Will update… pic.twitter.com/8PJXrAwsSj
— RSBN 🇺🇸 (@RSBNetwork) January 22, 2020
“We were streaming the SAME #ImpeachmentTrial from the SAME source (U.S. Senate) as all these (and many other) media outlets, yet our feed gets removed for ‘inappropriate content’ & the other videos stay up,” said RSBN’s official Twitter account.
Breitbart News asked YouTube why the alleged Content ID error did not seem to affect left-wing and mainstream channels. YouTube’s spokesman offered no response.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.