YouTube blocked during Venezuela Aid Live concert

Platform disruptions affecting multiple Google services including the YouTube streaming platform as well as Microsoft Bing have been detected by the NetBlocks internet observatory on state provider CANTV (AS8048), starting 7:20 PM UTC Friday 22 February 2019, 3:20 PM local time, during the live streaming of a prominent humanitarian aid concert.

A timeline of disruptions
Update – 8:20 PM: Connectivity has been restored following the outage, with streams again accessible through YouTube and the concert’s own streaming platform.

Update – 10:20 PM: The disruption of YouTube, Bing and Google services occurred for a second time, starting just before the appearance of opposition leader Juan Guaidó at the Venezuela Aid Live concert area.

Update – 11:40 PM: The same disruptions occurred for the third time from 11:03 PM UTC to 11:30 PM UTC during British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s closing ceremony speech.

Update – 12:25 AM: The disruption of YouTube, Bing, Google services and also Periscope has occurred for the fourth time from 12:03 AM UTC to 12:20 AM UTC during the joint press conference by Juan Guaidó and the presidents of Colombia, Chile, Paraguay at the Tienditas bridge.

The disruption, identified through a set of 6000 NetBlocks web probe measurements from Venezuela, has a near-identical network footprint to recent outages incidents during opposition speeches, which have been systematically censored amid political crisis and loss of confidence in incumbent president Nicolás Maduro.

In recent days, a volunteer platform for humanitarian aid was blocked as supporters went out on the streets.

Network measurements show that the outages are consistent with methods used to block online content in Venezuela. Access has typically been restored shortly after the speeches and public incidents end, with each incident lasting from just 12 minutes to over an hour.

The outages follow a similar pattern to those observed during past opposition speeches and rallies as well as critical sessions held by Venezuela’s National Assembly, including the disruption of Google Translate and other Google services, now also extending to affect Microsoft Bing, which provides a popular translation service in addition to its web search functionality.


The NetBlocks Group is a civil society group working at the intersection of digital rights, cyber-security and internet governance. Independent and non-partisan, NetBlocks strives for an open and inclusive digital future for all.

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