Deleted Finns Party video prompts conspiracy theories, and apology from Yle

Not everyone believes Yle's explanation of a technical problem which lead to Jussi Halla-aho's election interview being deleted for several hours.

Image of Yle Areena election programme featuring Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho / Credit: Yle

Finland’s public-funded broadcaster Yle has found itself in the middle of a dust-up with the Finns Party over a technical problem.

An interview show which featured Finns Party chairman Jussi Halla-aho was deleted from the broadcaster’s Areena catch-up service on Sunday, while all of the interviews with other party leaders were still available.

“It will be difficult to believe your own eyes” Halla-aho wrote on Twitter.

His supporters were quick to criticise Yle and hinted at conspiracies as to why the show was removed from the schedules.

“How does Yle justify this? Obscene electoral influence and suppresions. The management of Yle must be taken to account for this trick” writes one supporter on social media.

“Incredible! You must ask for an explanation immediately” says Finns Party parliamentary candidate Arto Luukkanen.

“Would be tempted to say it’s unbelievable, but since this is Yle, then… ” tweets another supporter.

Another just writes “Yle = [poop emoji]”

Yle explains a technical problem

For their part, Yle says there was a technical problem which impacted dozens of programmes, not just the interview with Halla-aho.

Other shows that were temporarily unavailable included news and current affairs programmes, sports broadcasts, lifestyle shows, popular comedies and a Moomin cartoon.

“In the update, something went wrong and the system began to remove large numbers of television shows on Sunday that had already been released” says Yle service manager Kari Haakana.

The programme with Halla-aho was restored on Sunday evening, and Yle says the rest of the mistakenly-deleted shows will be available during Monday.

“I understand that this raises concerns and questions, but the explanation of the fairly extensive reason for the update of the system is true” writes Yle CEO Merja Ylä-Anttila in response to criticism from Halla-aho’s supporters.

Ylä-Anttila also tweeted an apology directly to Halla-aho over the snafu.