Saturday, December 22, 2012

Internationals in Palestine video removed from YouTube

And re-uploaded, for now.

Last year I compiled the interviews I made with some of the internationals I met in Palestine. I wanted to show the faces and voices of foreigners traveling, volunteering and working in the occupied Palestinian Territories, to give a solid portrayal of people like me who experienced the occupation with our own eyes. I uploaded the video on October 27th, 2012. The next day, my video had at least 17,000 views and only 5 likes. I knew the numbers had been manipulated, but I didn't report it; I was told that this kind of thing happens all the time on YouTube. A few weeks later, the view count instantly jumped to 24,000.

On December 19th, YouTube sent me a message notifying me that I'd breached their Terms of Use by launching "robot," "spider," or "offline reader" that artificially inflated my view count. I can re-upload it, but if I'm found in violation again, my entire account will be suspended without appeal.

I got a great response on this video. I also got the usual comments suggesting we go to Syria or Yemen and see how long we last there, and one commenter called me a "news nazi."

I'm an amateur filmmaker, and I'm hoping to release a lot more videos like this, showing real people on the ground in Palestine, and the work they're doing. I've sent a message to YouTube, but feel free to comment and share. Inshallah, my channel will stay online.