YouTube suspends channel of Chinese vlogger who posts about his life in war-torn Ukraine

YouTube suspends channel of Chinese vlogger who posts about his life in war-torn Ukraine
Image: 王吉贤被封号中 官方小号在频道介绍里
Carl Samson
April 6, 2022
YouTube has reportedly suspended a Chinese vlogger from posting videos of his daily life in war-torn Ukraine over a violation in content policy.
Wang Jixian, a 36-year-old programmer living in the city of Odesa, has openly criticized Russia in his videos, while his native Beijing reportedly supports Moscow behind closed doors.
The vlogger posted a video on Douyin on Feb. 24 about the invasion, which Russia often refers to as a “special military operation.” At the time, he simply wanted to show his parents that he was doing OK.
However, as Russian troops went on to destroy Ukrainian cities, Wang became an unofficial voice of Chinese resistance. After posting his first YouTube video about Ukraine, he has amassed more than 100,000 subscribers.
Wang’s videos, however, have sparked outrage among Chinese nationalists, with some accusing him of being a “national traitor.”
“You don’t need this Chinese passport anymore, you have already forgotten which country you are from,” a Douyin user wrote. “The official position of the country should be the position of all Chinese people.”
Wang’s YouTube suspension came as a result of a March 28 video, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported. It featured Odesa with sounds of air-raid sirens and exploding missiles. The video also showed Ukrainian fighters capturing Russian soldiers, among other footage.
The now-deleted video also saw Wang turn his attention to Chinese state media, which often parrots Russian talking points. The vlogger shared photographic evidence of Ukraine’s army capturing Russian tanks, which supposedly debunks Chinese reports about Moscow having the upper hand.
In its suspension notice, YouTube declared that Wang’s video included “violent content.” Wang, who denied the claim, said the decision was made five minutes after he submitted an appeal.
“YouTube claims that my account was reported for violent content, which violates the rules, but where is the violence? I didn’t include photos [of violence] in my video,” Wang told RFA.
“This was a front-line war report,” he added. “In my appeal, I asked them to say which video or photos weren’t allowed, but within five minutes of my submitting the appeal, YouTube sent its final decision, which was that my account has been suspended for a week.”
Wang does not blame YouTube; rather, he’s pointing a finger at the “ulterior motives” of the person who reported him. Prior to the suspension, he purportedly received messages and comments that discouraged him from provoking the Chinese government and being “too aggressive.” 
For now, Wang is posting videos on Twitter and his other YouTube channel. Meanwhile, all of his Chinese social media accounts have been shut down.
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