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The Syrian Archive recovers 150,000 videos after YouTube deletion

 (Zaman Al Wasl)- Syrian Archive activists managed to recover 150,000 videos deleted by YouTube in November 2017 after activating artificial intelligence. 

The channel deleted hundreds of thousands of videos at the beginning of this year on the pretext of fighting extremist and violent content. So 190 thousand videos on YouTube has been unavailable since January 2019. According to the BBC, YouTube is the first source for Syrians to document the war crimes committed in their areas since the start of the conflict.

The Syrian Archive was established in April 2014 as an initiative of a number of human rights activists dedicated to the preservation, management and analysis of visual documents related to what is happening in Syria.

For years, the archive has been working on documenting the memory of the war in Syria and keeping and indexing documents on human rights violations from any side to suit the needs of notaries and media professionals in Syria, as well as making those documents organized and usable by investigators, lawyers, journalists and researchers.

Researcher Abdul Rahman Jaloud pointed out that the latest recovery by the Syrian Archive was of 11,000 and 550 videos of the martyrs of Hauran, the Deir ez-Zur network, the news network of Al Rigga, the media office in Aqraba, and the local coordination committees in al-Atarib.

The Archive tried to convince the YouTube management of the importance of these videos in documenting human rights violations and war crimes committed by parties such as the Syrian regime, Russia and sectarian militias.

Our correspondent confirmed that the number of the saved videos in the Syrian Archive is currently 1.5 million, not counting the content related to media offices and activists whose work is directly archived.

The initiative helped keep digital content from being lost and, Jaloud says, there is a correspondence with the YouTube management to retrieve any videos requested by activists and media offices.

The Archive has started several projects to archive the work of the activists in danger areas and areas that have been displaced and to help them archive the materials by keeping backup copies in safe servers and ensuring the privacy of the saved files.

Our source revealed that the Syrian Archive has recently begun to establish an international alliance with a group of human rights organizations for a unified message addressed to YouTube, Facebook and the Black Forum used by the Syrian revolutionaries and human rights activists, highlighting the role that these materials play in achieving justice in Syria, and in contributing to peace-building as a memory of the history of the Syrian people during these past years.

Jaloud pointed out that the many difficulties in the work of the Syrian Archive, including the problem of accessibility to all activists who have documented the Syrian revolution during the past eight years. 

Some of them were martyred and some were arrested, which hinders the process of restoring channels. That is why we seek to find alternatives and to form a greater pressure on YouTube to retrieve and archive their videos.

Jaloud called on activists, news agencies and media offices who needed help with archiving or restoring channels or social networking platforms to contact the archive to build justice and to achieve a sustainable peace in Syria, to keep these materials as a significant part of the Syrian people’s memory for future generation.

Zaman Al Wasl
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