Ash Sarkar: 'Journalism is at the mercy of unaccountable tech giants'

2 November 2021, 22:25 | Updated: 2 November 2021, 22:27

By Seán Hickey

The political commentator reflects on how social media companies hold immense power over journalism in the modern world.

Novara Media, where Ash Sarkar is Contributing Editor, was briefly removed from Youtube last week following an administration error. Social media uproar highlighted the power tech giants have to silence journalists.

Read more: Dave Chappelle hits out at cancel culture and 'nonsense' transphobia accusations

"Those two hours, they were worrying for me" Ms Sarkar joked, adding "this is why I think collapsing everything into cancel culture is a problem", given that Iain Dale brought the news up in relation to a Cross Question call on cancel culture.

"We talked to the Youtube execs," she explained, "they told us it was human error. We got wrongly flagged as spam."

Read more: James O'Brien points out the 'problem' with the Online Harms Bill

The political commentator went on to say that it by no means came from cancel culture, noting that "[the removal from Youtube] doesn't seem to have emerged from any outcry."

Read more: James O'Brien clashes with Piers Morgan on 'cancel culture'

When Iain pointed out that he had tweeted support, Ms Sarkar noted that Novara "did really appreciate the support which came from all sides of politics".

Read more: 'Cancelled': Charity set up in Winston Churchill's honour overhauled in 'woke attack'

She then explained that the event shed a sinister light on social media companies: "Regulated journalism is now at the mercy of these unaccountable tech giants where the internal governance is like a black box, we don't know what goes on inside."

"That's a very vulnerable place for a democracy to be in."