The Digital Front Line: Syria's YouTube Users Face Threats for Exposing Footage

YouTube contends with supposed Assad forces who want to block videos.

Damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria. Conflict between rebel fighters and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad  has reached YouTube, which some use to broadcast scenes from the intense clashes.

Damaged buildings in Aleppo, Syria. Conflict between rebel fighters and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reached YouTube, which some use to broadcast scenes from the intense clashes.

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"With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it's brought to our attention that a video or channel has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it," the spokesperson says. "In cases where flagged material is sensitive, but of clear news value, we apply warnings and age-restrictions to safeguard our users."

YouTube has created other tools to help users like Syria4YouandMe. A closed-captioning tool, used in the video above, allows viewers from all over the world to understand what's happening in dozens of languages. The company-sponsored Human Rights Channel highlights content for worldwide atrocities.

It also has a face-blurring tool unveiled last summer, allowing users to add on-the-fly protection for the identities of subjects in a clip.

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