Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Why Restricted Content On YouTube Is The Most Desired Among Canadians

The things people search for on engines like Google or Bing can tell a lot about how they live. New research by NordVPN reveals that video content on YouTube is the most desirable to unlock.

In total, 63,64% of Canadian internet users searching for how to unblock certain online services want to access content on YouTube. 

The rest of “unblock” searches from Canada are related to locked social media accounts due to forgotten login credentials or attempts to access Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat in public places like schools, where the service is often restricted.

However, Canadians are half as concerned with unblocking Facebook than Americans — only 9.09% compared to 20.41% in the US.

“Globally, 82.7% of users are trying to access YouTube the most, but Google is also in high demand (5.7%). This proves that a substantial part of the world cannot enjoy unrestricted internet browsing. Not Canada, however, as the country is considered to have free internet. But content on YouTube still makes them feel at a disadvantage,” said Daniel Markusson, digital privacy expert at NordVPN.

Why do people look for how to unblock YouTube much more than other services?

Youtube is the second most popular website as of August 2020, with one billion hours of content watched daily. “Not surprisingly, some video content is not available in certain countries due to copyright or censorship. This makes people look for workarounds,” says Daniel Markusson.

First on the list is the US, accounting for 7.7% of all “unblock YouTube” searches.  The country is followed by India (6,5%) and Indonesia (5,3%).  Canada hits the top-10, with 0.62% of all searches worldwide.

Countries can be broken down into two groups: those that have little censorship over content on the internet and those where censorship prevails. 

Therefore, the reasons behind attempts to access blocked content on YouTube might be notably different. “One of the reasons behind “unblock YouTube” search volumes in Canada, the US, UK, Australia, and others are the result of students trying to bypass rules at school, where bandwidth is often blocked for YouTube. On the other hand, internet users from India and Indonesia are either trying to bypass censorship or overcome geo-restrictions imposed by content creators,” said Daniel Markuson.

Examples of censorship include Denmark blocking YouTube following a dispute over royalty fees and Germany blocking the service for 7 years on copyright grounds. Regimes are blocking the service to suppress the opposition. For instance, YouTube was censored in Venezuela during the presidential elections crisis back in 2019.

Methodology: NordVPN researchers used Google’s search term analysis tools to search terms including the keyword “unblock”.  Apart from global trends, search volumes were also checked by country. The analysis was based on search volumes over a period of 30 days.

Time frame: 15 June-15 July, 2020.

Additionally, researchers looked at the Freedom on the Net report 2019 by Freedom House to list the countries considered to be the most censored. 

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