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YouTube suspends filmmaker Oliver Ressler’s account without warning

August 10, 2021
Oliver Ressler, Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart: Ende Gelände, 2016. Courtesy of the artist

The YouTube account of the Austrian filmmaker and artist Oliver Ressler was suspended last Thursday for alleged “repeated violations”. YouTube issued Ressler with a message warning that “spams, scams or commercially deceptive material are not allowed on YouTube”. The artist says that no such material had been uploaded to his channel, that no prior warnings about such violations had been received and accuses the video sharing platform of censoring his work.

Ressler creates political and environmental documentaries. He has made his catalog of political and environmental documentaries available for free online on YouTube. The works, which follow journalistic standards and have been shown in some of the largest museums and biennales in the world (in countries including the US, UK, France, Italy, Serbia, Russia and China), and often have an anti-capitalist, ecological, political, social content.

These have included the ZAD (zone à défendre) encampment in France in the film Everything’s Coming Together While Everything’s Falling Apart: the ZAD (2017), which aimed to prevent the building of an airport near Nantes and lead to the suspension of building plans. Other films such as The Visible and the Invisible (2014) and The Bull Laid Bear (2012) expose the underlying mechanisms of capitalism and the finance sector.

They remain accessible on the artist’s Vimeo account and his website.

Ressler began uploading his catalogue of work to YouTube last year. The artist believes that the online video sharing platform, which has been owned by Google since 2006, has removed his account because of its anti-capitalist content.

YouTube removed my YouTube Channel. Can anyone help? On Monday night I received the following email from YouTube, saying: “We have reviewed your content and found severe or repeated violations of our Community Guidelines. Because of this, we have removed your channel from YouTube. […] Spam, scams or commercially deceptive content are not allowed on YouTube.” Of course I immediately appealed this decision, followed the steps requested, and received a message afterwards, saying: “Thank you for reaching out about being unable to access your Google Account. The email address you inquired about is not associated with an active Google Account.” I have been using the same email address for more than 15 years, and it is also the email address associated with my Google account. Google does not respond, I have no possibility to contact them (besides filling in forms to which they do not respond). Quite embarrassing. Any ideas which actions I should take?

Read more:

Criticare il capitalismo? Vietato. E YouTube censura Oliver Ressler

Filmmaker Oliver Ressler accuses YouTube of censorship after account suspended ‘without warning’

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