In October 2022, the video-sharing platform Odysee came under the spotlight for continuing to broadcast RT France’s livestream.
Odysee is a decentralised, blockchain-based video platform whose main audiences are based in the US, France and Germany. The service is accessed monthly by approx. 20M visitors on its website. Odysee was described as “The new YouTube for the far right” by Dr. Eviane Leidig from the Global Network on Extremism and Technology.
As the European Digital Service Act was approved and will be enforced in the coming months and years, we decided to dig into Odysee’s and LBRY’s content moderation systems and how they fulfill their role in the scope of the DSA, particularly on Odysee apps?
Odysee and LBRY are intertwined in a complex technical relationship by design. Check First wrote an entire technical paper describing the intricacies of this content storage and distribution system. As a result of the complexity of this design and because content distribution is technically shared between Odysee and LBRY, content moderation is applied at different levels, by several entities. We were able to capture and analyse the content blocking lists applied by both Odysee and LBRY. This analysis has revealed that:
Our partner at EU DisinfoLab has written an advocacy piece based on this analysis available here: Odysee: list of geo-blocking requests shows the EU and EU Member States are far from doing enough to enforce the law
This investigation was led from Oct 19 to Dec 1 2022 by the CheckFirst OSINT team. All data gathered during this period is available on CheckFirst’s Github and a dashboard including graphical illustrations of the Odysee moderation is available online.
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We empower the fight against disinformation. Check First is a software and methodologies company founded by a developer and two journalists. We focus on creating the best tools and practices for the peculiar job of countering and monitoring fakes and influence campaigns, and gain time in the process by fostering collaboration. Our best asset is the complementarity of our founding team, making us approach problems in a comprehensive and innovative way.Our story