Congress scorns YouTube for ‘suicide’ disclaimer on Priyanka, Rahul Gandhi's video, says ‘playing into hands' of govt | Mint
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Business News/ News / Congress scorns YouTube for ‘suicide’ disclaimer on Priyanka, Rahul Gandhi's video, says ‘playing into hands' of govt
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Congress scorns YouTube for ‘suicide’ disclaimer on Priyanka, Rahul Gandhi's video, says ‘playing into hands' of govt

YouTube India adds 'viewer discretion' message to Congress video. Jairam Ramesh questions YouTube owner Google about the ‘suicidal’ message.

Congress criticises YouTube India for warning tagline on video, accuses it of aligning with ruling dispensation. (Mohd Zakir)Premium
Congress criticises YouTube India for warning tagline on video, accuses it of aligning with ruling dispensation. (Mohd Zakir)

Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh criticised YouTube India on October 19 for adding a warning tagline to a video of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's speeches in Telangana. Congress alleged that the social media platform is aligning with the ruling dispensation.

YouTube India's placed a "viewer discretion" caution message that stated "the following content may contain suicide or self-harm topics" on Congress' YouTube channel video of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi's speeches delivered in Telangana on October18. 

Viewers can proceed to watch the video only after clicking on an icon saying, "I understand and wish to proceed."

Congress general secretary of communications Jairam Ramesh In a post on social media platform X stated, “Only a few days ago, the Washington Post revealed how social media platforms including @YouTube were playing into the hands of the ruling dispensation in India." He further mentioned that the article described how messages of the Opposition were being suppressed.

Ramesh's comments followed letters sent by the opposition INDIA bloc to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai regarding their social media platforms' role in "aiding communal hatred" in the country and their demand that the platforms maintain neutrality in the upcoming elections.

These letters were sent after The Washington Post newspaper raised concerns about alleged bias of Facebook, WhatsApp and YouTube toward the ruling BJP and the Narendra Modi dispensation, reported PTI.

Ramesh pointed out that YouTubeIndia move justified what the Washington Post had written and said, “Today, @YouTubeIndia has vindicated what the Washington Post wrote and what were already our genuine apprehensions. By putting a warning tagline on @RahulGandhi’s and @priyankagandhi’s speeches."

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Ramesh inquired if Google, which owns YouTube, would clarify what is "suicidal or self-harming" in their speeches. He further questioned whether raising issues that matter to the people would be censored.

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Jairam Ramesh said that they were committed to keep raising their voice in the future for a level-playing field and an unbiased approach from global social media companies and said, “We have written to them in the past and we will keep raising our voice in the future for a level-playing field and an unbiased approach from global social media companies." He added that this is a critical necessity today for free and fair elections in India and all over the world.

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YouTube's policy on cautioning does not permit content that promotes suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, material intended to shock or disgust or that presents a risk to viewers.

Priyanka Gandhi had referred to a woman job aspirant who died by suicide in Hyderabad last week and stated, "one girl committed suicide and questions were raised that she did not fill up the application herself," in her speech in Telangana. She said, "Without resolving the problems of youth, fingers are raised on them and employment is not given to you." 

(With inputs from PTI)

 

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Published: 20 Oct 2023, 10:12 AM IST
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