On its YouTube channel, the North Korean government offered everything from nuclear test videos to addresses from the Supreme Leader himself — but not anymore. YouTube, apparently compelled by U.S. sanctions announced earlier this year, has blocked the isolated Communist nation’s official hub.
YouTube did not explain exactly why it blocked the North Korean government’s channels, but the recent American sanctions state that any company that does business with the North Korean government violates U.S. law. Since North Korea’s ability to make money through the YouTube partner program constitutes “doing business,” the video site decided to shut down the East Asian nation’s YouTube home.
The decision to block the North Korean government’s channel comes shortly after YouTube banded together with Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft to create a database that can be used to combat terrorism and social media. In both that case and this one, people who study these enemy agents have noted that they are losing a key resource. “While it provided daily news shows on events the regime wanted shown countrywide, it also helped give context to structures I would normally only see via satellite image,” researcher David Schmerler told The Washington Post with regard to North Korea’s official YouTube channel.
It’s not so bad, David — after all, you still have Manbang.