YouTube has slapped a warning on a recent episode of NDTV India’s show “Prime Time with Ravish Kumar”. “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences,” the warning reads.
This is noteworthy for two reasons. One, such warnings are rarely, if ever, put on news shows. Two, several other news platforms that have run the same video for which NDTV is apparently being punished have escaped the stricture. They include , , , and .
The video purportedly shows the police in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, thrashing a group of Muslims who had been detained during protests against now-suspended BJP spokesperson on Prophet Muhammad. It was first shared by Uttar Pradesh legislator Shalab Mani Tripathi on Twitter on June 11. Tripathi had referred to the police thrashing the men as a “return gift to the rebels”.
The Saharanpur police have denied that the video is from their jurisdiction, but the now-labelled NDTV show confirmed that the men assaulted by the police were from Saharanpur.
Speaking to Newslaundry, the show’s host, Ravish Kumar, said, “YouTube has added a warning to this episode on NDTV India’s channel. But there is no restriction on our English channel.” He asked YouTube to be more transparent about its community guidelines. “If this goes on, then ten thousand people from the IT Cell will start complaining about videos,” Ravish added, referring to the BJP’s IT Cell.
Asked about the warning put on Ravish’s show, a YouTube spokesperson offered a stock response, “YouTube has strict policies prohibiting violent or graphic content on the platform. However, context matters, and we may age-restrict a video rather than remove it, if there is sufficient educational, documentary, scientific and artistic context.”