On December 5, Shakir Zade, Azerbaijani activist living abroad, reported his YouTube channel was taken down by the platform following takedown requests made by Milli TV, Qanun TV and AnTV.
Following the incident, it was possible to identify that Milli TV and Qanun TV were working together, however, since the incident, it has been not possible to locate the admins of either of the YouTube channels or the Milli TV YouTube channel.
On December 10, it was still possible to see, two email addresses that were connected to each of the YouTube channels – email@example.com (Qanun TV) and firstname.lastname@example.org (Milli TV). However, since Zade’s channel was restored, this information appears to be missing, as well as any traces of Milli TV on YouTube. The following message appears when using the previous link associated with Milli TV.
Zade also said, he was reached out by the admin of AnTV who informed Zade, his personal account was hacked during the reporting and that it was not the original owner of the channel who reported Zade’s YouTube channel.
This is not the first time, YouTube accounts, Facebook accounts, or Instagram accounts have been taken down by the companies following “takedown requests” by contentious users in Azerbaijan.
Update: December 19, 2019
Shakir Zade’s YouTube account was once again reportedly taken down by the YouTube platform after a series of “copyright violation” reports sent in by AnTV and Qafqaz News accounts.
The alleged victim who claims the videos were a copyright violation is registered at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. administers AnTV and Qafqaz News.
Update: January 3, 2020
YouTube once again has closed down Shakir Zade’s YouTube channel, on what seems like yet another false copyright violation report.
This time, Milli TV appeared to have a new email: email@example.com. Ali Hasanov is a former aid to the president. He was known prior to his dismissal as the man behind media censorship in Azerbaijan. He was dismissed on November 30, 2019 as part of alleged reforms introduced by the president Ilham Aliyev.