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7 Aug, 2020 15:22

Twitter censoring tweets containing links to BitChute video service, flags posts as 'potentially harmful'

Twitter censoring tweets containing links to BitChute video service, flags posts as 'potentially harmful'

Video hosting service BitChute has accused Twitter of censoring tweets including links to their platform, and numerous users have experienced the apparent ban, though the social media app has yet to officially respond.

“It appears as if Twitter has started blocking all tweets that contain Bitchute videos,” BitChute’s account tweeted on Friday morning. They encouraged users to share their own examples of censorship too.

Numerous users then posted screenshots of them trying to post links to videos on the website, only to be blocked by Twitter and told the material they were about to post was “potentially harmful.”

When you try and post a link to BitChute, Twitter will preview the tweet to the user, and send two messages. One in red says, “something went wrong, but don’t fret — let’s give it another shot.” 

This message is essentially useless because the “potentially harmful” statement will pop up when the user tries to hit “tweet.”

The Twitter and Twitter Support pages have not officially responded to the seeming censorship, and BitChute has said they received no warning about the content blockage.

The ban appears to go beyond posting new content too. If a user tries to follow an old link to a BitChute video through Twitter, they are brought to a warning page that tells users the link “may be unsafe.” The various reasons it could be “unsafe” include “spammy links that mislead people or disrupt the experience” or even “violent or misleading content that could lead to real-world harm.” 

A user needs to “ignore this warning and continue” in order to make it to the BitChute link originally requested. 

Since launching in 2017, BitChute has been accused by liberal activists and mainstream media outlets of being a conspiracy theorist-driven and right-wing hosting site. The platform has found success through giving creators far more freedom than other platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, which have become more aggressive in their moderation and banning of content. Many content creators who have found themselves banned or demonetized on sites like YouTube have found their way over to BitChute.

BitChute was banned by PayPal along with right-wing figures like Alex Jones in 2018. The Southern Poverty Law Center has accused them of hosting “hate-fueled material.”

Despite the accusations of hosting hate videos, much of the content on BitChute is related to technology and not-politically motivated. Even that content, however, seems to have been blocked by Twitter in what appears to be a blanket ban on anything related to the site.

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