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Social media companies are removing content which breaches their guidelines in way which could hamper journalistic investigation, according to a new report.
Human Rights Watch said companies like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube are right to quickly remove content that could incite violence or jeopardise national security or public order, but that permanent removal with no archive access can hamper efforts for accountability.
The US-based group said in a new report that content should be made available through an independent mechanism once it has been taken down to criminal investigators, journalists, academics and non-governmental organisations.
Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at HRW, said: “Some of the content that Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms are taking down has crucial and irreplaceable value as evidence of human rights atrocities.
“With prosecutors, researchers, and journalists increasingly relying on photographs and videos posted publicly on social media, these platforms should be doing more to ensure that they can get access to potential evidence of serious crimes.”
The “Video Unavailable: Social Media Platforms Remove Evidence of War Crimes” report said the social media platforms’ use of artificial intelligence to take down content before it is reported to its moderating team means there is “ …
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