'A threat to everyone' Ash Sarkar furious as YouTube channel REMOVED

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Ash Sarkar, a media commentator and contributing editor of Novara Media, dubbed the deletion of the news site’s YouTube account as an “attack on quality British journalism” before it was reinstated.

Sharing her distress on Twitter, she wrote: “Novara Media is fully regulated by IMPRESS.

“We’ve produced some of the most rigorous analysis of the coronavirus pandemic, interviewing world-class experts and keeping an audience of young people who are disengaged from legacy media informed about current affairs.”

She said “an unaccountable American tech giant” who may “not like our politics or our personalities” was responsible for the deletion of the channel, which has more than 165 thousand subscribers.

“But the deletion of Novara’s account,” she insisted, “is a threat to everyone.”

Calling for the decision to take their account down to be “overturned”, Aaron Bastani, co-founder of pro-Corbyn Novara, said: “A decision made with no explanation or due process by YouTube.”

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Ash Sarkar

Ash Sarkar, a contributing editor of Novara Media, called the removal of the account an ‘attack’ (Image: Getty)

A statement posted in the media’s Twitter account read: “This morning the Novara Media YouTube channel was deleted without warning or explanation.

“Novara Media is among the top 50 most watched news and politics channels in the UK.

“We play an important public service role and regularly feature interviews with politicians, human rights campaigners, scientists and activists from around the world.

“We are also regulated by Impress in the UK.

“We call on YouTube to immediately reinstate our account.”

The mission of the platform, launched in 2011, is to bring “New media for a different politics”.

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Following a growing conversation on social media, which was joined by journalists, MEPs and members of the public under the hashtag #ReinstateNovara, Novara’s channel has been reinstated this afternoon.

A range of Labour politicians had joined the discussion in expressing their discontent, with Nadia Whittome saying: “Solidarity with Novara Media.

“Their independent journalism and platforming of marginalised voices is so important, especially in a media landscape dominated by a handful of billionaire owners.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy added: “This reeks of censorship.

“During the pandemic, Novara have provided invaluable analysis and scrutiny of the Government’s handling of the pandemic.”

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YouTube logo

Journalists, MEPs and members of the public called for YouTube to reinstate Novara’s YouTube channel (Image: Getty)

And Richard Burgon asked: “What on earth is going on, YouTube?

“I ask this as an elected Member of the UK Parliament.

“Novara Media is an important platform for left journalism and discussion.

“It shouldn’t be shut down.”

Sam Tarry posted: “This is nothing short of an attack on freedom of speech.

“YouTube should be ashamed of itself.”

Even Guido Fawkes showed support to Novara: “Despite obvious political differences between Guido and Novara, if that is true it is manifestly wrong for them to have been silenced by YouTube.”

Users who tried to access the site’s YouTube channel throughout Tuesday morning came across a message stating it had been “terminated due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube’s policy against spam, deceptive practices, and misleading content or other Terms of Service violations”.

But as of 1.30pm, though without clarification of the incident, the channel was back online.

Ms Sarkar said: “Novara Media’s YouTube account has now been restored.

“But we still have no explanation of why it was taken down in the first place, or who took the decision.”

“Unaccountable tech giants should not be able to censor regulated journalism. It’s that simple.”

Google has been contacted for comment.

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