Activists race to save digital trace of Syria war

From videos of deadly air strikes to jihadist takeovers, Al-Mutez Billah’s YouTube page served as a digital archive of the Syrian war until automated takedown software in 2017 erased it permanently. The page exhibiting footage that violated YouTube’s community standards could not be restored because Al-Mutez Billah, a citizen-journalist, had been executed by the Islamic State group three years earlier over his documentation efforts. “It’s not just videos that have been deleted, it’s an entire archive of our life,” said Sarmad Jilane, a Syrian activist and close friend of Al-Mutez Billah, who w…

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