In yet another crackdown on independent media and creators, YouTube has removed the channel of Byoblu – an independent Italian media outlet that had more than 525,000 subscribers.
The popular channel had uploaded more than 2,000 interviews to YouTube in its 14+ years on the platform and racked up over 200 million total video views. It featured interviews with magistrates, presidents of the Constitutional Court, politicians, lawyers, scientists, and more.
YouTube deleted Byoblu’s channel after targeting it numerous times over its coverage of protests and interviews with scientists.
According to Byoblu, YouTube had removed several unpublished videos of demonstrations in Cesena and Milan, removed a video discussing a leading British Medical Journal columnist’s thoughts about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, removed a months-old video featuring an interview with a senior scientist from the University of Siena because he talked about the benefits of vitamin C, demonetized the channel, and removed 5,000 of the channel’s subscribers before it was permanently suspended.
Byoblu added that YouTube’s final action against the channel before permanently suspending it was to remove a September 2020 video of a street demonstration where the Pan-African activist Mohamed Konare spoke.
In a post about YouTube’s takedown of the channel, Byoblu suggested that it was targeted by YouTube because of its obsession with wanting ordinary people to speak and showing the news from an alternative point of view.