Northern Ireland news

Anger over claims YouTube deleted loyalist band videos

‘DELETED’: Loyalist social media pages claim footage of parades was removed by YouTube
Paul Ainsworth

VIDEO sharing platform YouTube has been urged to explain how “thousands of hours” of footage of loyalist bands was reportedly removed.

Social media pages focussing on marching bands said YouTube deleted videos and accounts without warning, for breaching community guidelines.

YouTube, which is owned by web giant Google, bans content for numerous reasons under its guidelines.

The Ulster Bands Forum Facebook page and Londonderry Bands Forum both highlighted concerns.

Hours of footage is still available online.

Responding to the claims, however, Ulster Unionist councillor for Mid Ulster, Trevor Wilson said YouTube, which gets over 30 million visitors per day, must explain the removals.

“The local band scene is thriving and is a key part of unionist culture, providing a great deal of colour and musical skill throughout the summer months, and is the source of pleasure and enjoyment for tens of thousands of people,” he said.

“Over the weekend, I and a number of party colleagues have been approached by members of the local band fraternity regarding action taken by YouTube.

“There is a great deal of anger out there that a number of accounts have been closed without explanation or warning, and hundreds of hours of footage lost as a result.”

PUP leader and Belfast councillor Billy Hutchinson said: “For some, these videos are of sentimental value and to others they are of educational value.

“In my view, they do not breach any community guidelines.”

No-one from YouTube was available when contacted by the The Irish News.

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