Indonesia: YouTube censors live stream on homophobia and religion

YouTube removed the live webinar ‘Exploring non-homophobic religions’ stating the content breached community guidelines. The International Federation of Journalists and its affiliate the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia urge YouTube to explain the removal of the live stream.

Credit: Sejuk channel/Youtube

The Association of Journalists for Diversity (Sejuk) broadcast on June 24 was interrupted after 48 minutes by YouTube after users reported the webinar for breaching community guidelines. YouTube did not specify what section of the community guidelines Sejuk breached. 

In response, Sejuk noted there was no reason to stop the live stream and it did not break the law. YouTube restored the vide on June 25 on Sejuk’s channel

YouTube has a history of discriminating against the LGBTI community with claims from YouTubers saying the platform’s algorithm systematically demonetises LGBTI content. A study by the Sealow research group found YouTube automatically demonetised 33 per cent of videos with LGBTI content in the title. A spokesperson from YouTube rejected claims stating the algorithm discriminated against LGBTI content. 

A joint statement signed by Sejuk, AJI, and several other Indonesian human rights organisations said YouTube contravened Indonesia’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

The statement said: “We demand an explanation from YouTube to know whether the decision to stop the live streaming too fair consideration and referred to Community Guidelines or was there an intervention from other parties.”

The IFJ said: YouTube’s censorship of Sejuk’s live stream without explanation is of grave concern. The IFJ calls on YouTube to clarify why Sejuk’s live stream was removed and review the processes that led to the live stream’s removal.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on 
+61 2 9333 0918

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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