Coalition challenges YouTube blocking in China

The blocking of YouTube in China is “inconsistent with the rule of law and the right to freedom of expression,” the Global Network Initiative said in a statement today. CPJ is a member of the Initiative, a coalition of information and communications companies, human rights organizations, academics, and investors that resists government censorship worldwide.

The Initiative noted that Chinese government has not provided an explanation of whether YouTube is officially blocked, what content is at issue, or on whose authority the blocking was imposed. The blocking appeared to begin on Monday, CNN reported.

The Initiative’s statement said, in part:

This incident is only the latest example of increasing threats to freedom of expression around the world. Responding to such threats requires collaboration among a broad spectrum of companies, civil society organizations, investors, and academics, working with governments and multilateral organizations that support international human rights and the rule of law.

Worldwide, the group said, YouTube has been blocked more than a dozen times by governments that are “falling short of human rights principles in troubling ways.”