Following former US President Donald Trump's designation of Yemen's Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organisation, YouTube has permanently deleted seven Houthi-affiliated channels.
The US' decision has since been criticised by various non-governmental organisations and some senior US officials as hindering international aid efforts and undermining any prospects for peace talks. The current administration of President Joe Biden is reviewing the designation amid mounting calls to revoke it.
YouTube, which has been owned by Google since 2006, removed the channels, including Al-Masirah Mubasher, Military Media, AnsarAllah Group and Zamel AnsarAllah and announced they had been "permanently deleted after reviewing their contents" which were deemed to "contain grave violations".
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the designations were intended to hold the Houthi movement "accountable for its terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure and commercial shipping".
The YouTube channels were frequently used for propaganda purposes which included footage of military engagements and attacks on Saudi forces across the border, in particular "liberation" operations in the Najran province, historically part of Yemen.
— Press TV (@PressTV) January 25, 2021
Today massive rallies were held across Yemen in at least 14 provinces in protest against the designation of the Houthi movement which forms part of the de-facto government based in the capital Sanaa. An online rally promoted under the hashtag DayofAction4Yemen is also scheduled for today.
According to the Middle East Institute the US blacklisting of the Houthi movement raises important questions for big tech companies due to their large presence on social media. It also maintains an active group on Telegram and has an official website hosted by San-Francisco-based Cloudfare.