Thank Joe Lieberman For YouTube Accidentally Censoring Key Syrian Watchdog's YouTube Channel

from the bet-that'll-stop-terror dept

Senator Joe Lieberman may finally be out of the Senate, but his "legacy" lives on. Over the years, we've noted that he's regularly sought to censor technology that terrorists use, on the ridiculous theory that censorship somehow makes the terrorists disappear. One of his campaigns, way back in 2008, was to force YouTube to magically censor videos from terrorists. After putting a lot of public pressure on YouTube, the company caved. And... as a result of that, it recently shut down the video channel of an important Syrian watchdog organization which had been posting video evidence of atrocities occurring in that country. YouTube has apologized and reinstated the channel, but this is what happens when you encourage censorship. It is impossible not to have it lead to censoring important speech.
YouTube sent the Observatory an email on Sunday that said its channels "syrianhro" and "almrsd" had "violated the policy of the site by publishing shocking and offensive videos," the Britain-based watchdog said.

The Observatory, which disseminates graphic videos on YouTube of atrocities from the bloody civil war the UN says has killed more than 60,000 people, condemned the closure.

"This is the second time in two months that the site administration has closed the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights channel," it said in a statement, in reference specifically to almrsd.
Of course, if we're to take Lieberman's theory to its logical conclusion, so long as no one can see the atrocities in Syria, we can all pretend they haven't happened, right?


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    Ninja (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    violated the policy of the site by publishing shocking and offensive videos

    Because what's shocking and offensive for some brainless moral police may be a tool to spread awareness and right a lot of wrongs.

    BUT YUCK, IT HAS BLOOD! TAKE IT DOWN! FOR THE CHILDREN!

    Yes, and then the chidren will grow up in a rainbow colored world where unicorns are beautiful and everyone is happy right? Nothing possibly wrong can exist in such a world, right?

    Hypocrites. Good thing he's out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    this is also what happens when stupid old farts that are more concerned with appearing to do 'good' than actually 'doing good' are let loose on technology that they dont and dont want to understand. i wonder what would have happened if this attitude had been the one universally adopted in the 1930's. at least perhaps the entertainment industries would not be able to dictate what happens everywhere

     

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      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 10:58am

      Re:

      this is also what happens when stupid old farts that are more concerned with appearing to do 'good' than actually 'doing good' are let loose on technology that they dont and dont want to understand.
      To paraphrase:
      This is what happens when Politicians. (Note: Not "when politicians do" anything in particular, just "when Politicians"...)

       

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    PT (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Let us not forget that Lieberman holds dual citizenship, and therefore has a greater interest in certain kinds of news than may appear at first glance.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    When we do it

    Its called shock and awe and is on CNN 24/7.
    When we drop bombs on families and children its ok for some fucked up reason.

    But let another entity actually show the brutalities of war and its wrong. No wonder the world hates us.

     

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    sgt_doom (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 10:52am

    " stupid old farts .."

    Naaah, Lieberman or Lieberswine has always been an evil fart, and decidedly many consider evil stupid, but there's a purpose to what Lieberman (once called by the American propaganda network, a k a the MSM, the "conscience of the Senate" ROFL to the max!).

    Just think of all the members of the electorate who voted for either the vile Cheney, or the vile Lieberman, back in 2000 --- when they could have elected Nader.

    Proud to have voted for Dr. Jill Stein, and before that for Cynthia McKinney and for Ralph Nader --- no way in perdition this American would ever vote for a Cheney or a Lieberman! ! !

     

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    PRMan, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Complaints

    What happens is that the public (or at least vocal members of the public) really do want a censored world when they get older. Even Steve Jobs, who campaigned repeatedly against censorship by "suits" when he was younger, became the censoring "suit" when he was older.

    I think that people with kids don't really want their kids exposed to stuff before they are ready for it and therefore they complain to the world about those things that their kids might find. And people think they are doing the world a favor with all censorship of sex, violence, racism, sexism, etc.

    If you get right down to it, everybody has items that they get upset about if they are suppressed and, at the same time, has items that offend them. For example:

    Christians - free speech when it comes to religion, censorship when it comes to sex/nudity.

    Atheists - free speech when it comes to sex/nudity, censorship when it comes to religious displays and, for example, the teaching of creationism

    And so, Steve Jobs knows that people won't buy an iPhone if Mom #1 tells Mom #2 what Johnny found on there. So, to increase sales, he censors the iPhone, making it feel "safe" to parents.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 11:36am

      Re: Complaints

      After everybody has had their say as to what should be censored, and it is blocked, there is nothing left. At least the kids will be safe!

       

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      VMax, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 11:40am

      Re: Complaints

      Atheists would get upset if you tried to teach Alchemy in public school too.

       

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        PT (profile), Jan 8th, 2013 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re: Complaints

        Not just atheists. Anyone who understands the scientific method would oppose the teaching of both alchemy and creationism as science in public schools. This includes many people of faith. On the other hand, nobody would object to teaching creationism in the context of religious studies.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

      Re: Complaints

      Please feel free to teach your kids creationalism... in a school that you, yourself, fund, and without any of my tax dollars. You can teach them the world was created out of green snow crapped out by leprechauns for all I care; that's about as accurate. You just can't teach them these outrageously imaginary things as fact on *my* dime.

       

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    Fensty, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 11:34am

    Wait...what's the connection?

    OK, far be it from me to ever defend Lieberman on anything, and I'm not - his desire to "stop terrorism" by "hiding terrorist videos" is, indeed, silly and misguided.

    BUT....where's the connection in this exact case?

    All that's said here is that they were taken down as in accordance with YouTube's policy of shocking or offensive videos.

    Again - we can (and should) argue with YouTube's policy here, as we can (and should) argue with Lieberman's, but they are completely DIFFERENT THINGS, enacted (however wrongly) for different reasons.

    This is an attempt to create a connection between YouTube's censoring these videos based on their perception of objectionable content, vs. YouTube's censoring videos in compliance with Lieberman's demands. As the linked-to 2008 entry states, Lieberman specifically demanded videos that did NOT display violence or hate speech removed.

    It's a pretty big difference, and linking this particular takedown to Lieberman makes no sense, and is actually giving Google an "out" to blame someone else for their own policy decisions.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

    Lieberman

    I'm so glad that sack of shit is gone from the Senate.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 8th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    Wouldn't actually shock me if Lieberman was taking Bribes from Al-Assad to censor stuff about Syria to be honest.

     

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