Google has said it made an error after deleting Novara Media’s YouTube channel.
The independent, left-wing alternative media organisation, which was founded in 2011, was removed ‘without warning’ on Tuesday morning, however has since been restored.
Addressing its removal and subsequent return in a statement, Novara Media said: ‘Earlier this morning, YouTube deleted the Novara Media channel without warning or explanation. Following a deluge of support from across the political spectrum, the channel has now been reinstated.
‘We are now demanding a step-by-step explanation as to how this happened. We thank our supporters and those who demanded its reinstatement. Had this happened a few years ago, we may not have been able to withstand such an attack on our ability to publish.
‘This only underscores the enormous inequality between platforms and creators – something detrimental to a healthy public sphere and free media.’
Google admitted it made ‘the wrong call’ after briefly removing Novara Media’s YouTube channel.
‘Novara Media’s channel was briefly removed after it was flagged, but upon review it was then immediately reinstated,’ a statement read.
‘We work quickly to review all flagged content, but with millions of hours of video uploaded on YouTube every day, on occasion we make the wrong call.’
YouTube added: ‘With 400 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, we count on our community members to know our Community Guidelines & to flag content they believe violates them. We review all flagged content quickly, & if we find that a video does violate the guidelines, we remove it.
‘We also have a team that is dedicated to identifying & removing spam from YouTube. Occasionally, a video flagged by users or identified by our spam team is mistakenly taken down.’
Ash Sarkar, Novara’s contributing editor, responded: ‘It wasn’t a video that was taken down – it was our whole channel. Who made the decision, and why?’
Novara Media was founded in 2011 by James Butler and Aaron Bastani, who met in the same year during the protests against the increase in UK university tuition fees.
Sarkar, Dalia Gebrial and Shon Faye are among the names who have appeared as contributors on the network.
Novara’s readership is typically 18 to 30-year-olds and left-leaning people dissatisfied with more traditional news outlets.