YouTube Bans Tunisian Site Nawaat from Uploading Videos

Yesterday, Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia, who is also co-founder of the Tunisian news site Nawaat, reported that Nawaat was no longer able to upload YouTube videos to their site, after YouTube staff determined that a video they were trying to upload contained “objectionable content.”  Ben Gharbia posted the message received by Nawaat, which read:

The following video(s) from your account have been disabled for violating the YouTube Community Guidelines:

Tunise : enfants des zones défavorisées (Nawaat)
While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers theoretically might do in response, we draw the line at content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. It’s not okay to post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making. Any depictions like these should be educational or documentary and shouldn’t be designed to help or encourage others to imitate them.

This is the second Community Guidelines warning sanction your account has received within six months. Accordingly, the ability to post new content to YouTube from this account has been disabled and will not return until two weeks after you acknowledge this message. Please review the YouTube Community Guidelines and refrain from further violations, which may result in the termination of your account(s).

The video in question shows a group of young Tunisian children sniffing glue and discussing the practice, which is common amongst disadvantaged youth in Tunisia and is considered to be an extremely dangerous gateway drug. This video is thought to be the first citizen video to document the practice in Tunisia.

In Ben Gharbia's Nawaat post, he points out that other videos potentially in violation of YouTube's terms of service, including one that infamously depicted the death of Iranian Neda Agha-Soltan and several that show the recent death of Georgian Olympic luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili.

Photo-sharing site Flickr has a similar policy that came under fire in 2007 after Dutch photographer Maarten Dors complained that a photo of his, which showed a young Romanian boy smoking a cigarette, had been removed. Flickr later reinstated the photo and apologized to Dors.


  • Youtube has restored the rejected video and nawaat’s account. Thanks Google for the understanding and thank you all for the support

  • […] removida. O Flickr posteriormente republicou a foto e pediu desculpas a Dors. Nota do Editor: em um comentário no artigo original, Sami Ben Gharbia afirmou que o YouTube restaurou o vídeo para a conta do […]

  • Renato

    Although I don’t think it was a correct decision taken by YouTube to remove Nawaat’s videos, it is written on the terms and conditions that they may remove videos if they are in violation of the T&C. No big deal to me. It’s the same as a poor person stealing a fruit from a store: morally speaking I don’t think the person should be condemned, but the law is about stealing, no matter if it is a television or an apple. (mind you I’m talking about that the rule should be applied regardless of situation, not about the crime per se)

    It’s a free* service by Google, it’s their service and you have to respect their T&Cs. If you don’t agree to them, so well, upload elsewhere. Or better, pay for your own server and you will have your own rules (limited by the network carrier and country laws, of course).

    *free in the sense of paying with money, but you pay with loss of privacy and data-mining material for advertisement.

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