YouTube briefly deleted the account of Novara Media, a left-wing independent media outlet whose journalists have appeared on the BBC and other broadcast networks.
Novara said it had been deleted “without warning or explanation”.
But YouTube told BBC News it had made a “wrong call”.
Earlier this month, a video of David Davis MP arguing against Covid passports was also removed and reinstated by the video-streaming site.
YouTube said: “Novara Media’s channel was briefly removed, after it was flagged – but upon review, it was then immediately reinstated”.
“We work quickly to review all flagged content – but with millions of hours of video uploaded on YouTube every day, on occasion we make the wrong call”
But the channel’s deletion prompted Big Brother Watch, the campaign group that had originally posted the clip of Mr Davis on YouTube, to tweet: “Free speech is under attack online.”
Free speech is under attack online.
— Big Brother Watch (@BigBrotherWatch) October 26, 2021
And Novara contributing editor Ash Sarkar called it “an attack on quality British journalism by an unaccountable American tech giant”.
This is an attack on quality British journalism by an unaccountable American tech giant. You might not like our politics or our personalities, but the deletion of Novara’s account is a threat to everyone #ReinstateNovara.
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) October 26, 2021
Novara also demanded a “step-by-step” explanation of how its channel had been removed and reinstated.
The organisation, founded in 2011, added it played an important public-service role, regularly featured interviews “with politicians, human-rights campaigners, scientists and activists from around the world” and was regulated by the Independent Monitor for the Press (Impress).