Tokyo Election Commission Worried People Might Actually Watch Candidate Speeches On YouTube

from the it-might-make-them-more-educated! dept

There’s just something about politicians and their inability to understand the internet. Slashdot points us to an article about the Tokyo Election Commission demanding that YouTube take down videos of various local political candidates after a “fringe” candidate started getting plenty of attention. Apparently, Japan only allows candidate speeches to be aired on the local public broadcasting network, and somehow having them up on YouTube isn’t fair. We’re not exactly sure how making candidate videos available to more people in a more convenient way could ever be considered less fair, but I guess that’s why we’re not on the Tokyo Election Commission. Still, you would think that with the big challenges involved in making the electorate more informed, people would be enthusiastically supporting the idea of making the videos more, not less, available. Oh well. Maybe this means that Japan will ban YouTube as well.


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Comments on “Tokyo Election Commission Worried People Might Actually Watch Candidate Speeches On YouTube”

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17 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I’m only a guessing at the reason for their rule, but . .

If only public broadcasting (PBS in the USA) is allowed to broadcast candidate speeches, politicians couldn’t buy air time based on how much money they can raise from special interests.

That sounds like a good idea to me. Of course, there are other ways to advertise. It’s a good step if it also covers other media.

Morgan (user link) says:

Terrible idea

So what do we do, give up freedom of speech in the 2 years leading up to an election? Pretend we don’t know it’s happening.

The fact is, any law restricting the ability to express a point of view is a restriction of freedom of speech. And setting up a government-run monopoly for outlet of information for elections is just ridiculous.

It’s already bad enough here– in the 90 days leading up to an election, I could not buy radio or TV ads expressing my preference, thanks to McCain-Feingold. And yet even the moronic goal of ‘getting the money out of politics’ was not only not reached but totally backfired after. Repeal? No way, the intention was good.

For Japan to try to do this is short-sighted, stupid, counter-productive, and plain wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Terrible idea

So what do we do, give up freedom of speech in the 2 years leading up to an election? Pretend we don’t know it’s happening.

I think maybe Japan is trying to ensure that political freedom of speech isn’t just limited to those who can afford it, as it is in the US. I could be wrong though.

The fact is, any law restricting the ability to express a point of view is a restriction of freedom of speech. And setting up a government-run monopoly for outlet of information for elections is just ridiculous.

In the US the government run monopoly that gives people permission to broadcast their message on the airwaves is called the FCC and, generally speaking, permission has a price.

dorpus says:

Re: Re: Terrible idea

In the US the government run monopoly that gives people permission to broadcast their message on the airwaves is called the FCC and, generally speaking, permission has a price.

I’ve never heard of the FCC intervening to refuse political candidates to air their views, do you care to give examples?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Terrible idea

I’ve never heard of the FCC intervening to refuse political candidates to air their views, do you care to give examples?

The FCC has taken down many unlicensed transmitters and there have been no exceptions for political candidates that I am aware of. Do you care to gave any examples to the contrary?

dorpus says:

Japan=North Korea=China

Democracy is not ingrained in their culture. In the past, I’ve posted documents to prove that Japan is the world’s largest abductor of children. Japan refused to sign the 1981 Hague Convention Against Child Abduction, which was ratified by 77 other nations. To this day, Japanese courts refuse to honor extradition requests for Japanese kidnappers in cases where the Japanese parent lost the custody battle, and abducts the kids to Japan. I’ve posted official US government documents on Japan forums before:

http://travel.state.gov/family/abduction/country/country_501.html

http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20040322-50.html

Posting these links has led to many death threats and bannings from Japan forums before. Most recently, after I posted these on halvsie.com, I started receiving death threats within hours, and site moderators started making long lists of false accusations against me, sending me private messages demanding that I “admit” them. I posted the site owner’s name, address, and phone number to ask if that is where I should send legal correspondence, which caused the moderators to panic and quickly delete the post.

Funny thing is, when I tell this stuff to real Japanese, they usually agree with me. The people who make death threats are usually white Japanophiles or half-Japanese who aren’t accepted as one of their kind.

Anonymous Coward says:

There could also be control issues here. Maybe the candidates do not want their speeches up on youtube as they have no control over the content there. The videos may have been edited, or something like that. To be in an election, image is everything, if you cant control that, youve pretty much lost. but youtube is potentially a very powerful tool to getting your message out to the people who care.

John Duncan Yoyo says:

Re: Re:

What they don’t want the whole George Allen mukakkah thing to happen in Japan? A front runner’s campaign collapses when people actually can listen to what the twit has to say in different portions of the state.

I figure every speech will be available on you tube for the presidential election of 2008 and we will see one or two of the front runners sink into the swamp. I can already see the highlights of my local town council meetings on you tube.

Yuri S. says:

The FCC has taken down many unlicensed transmitters and there have been no exceptions for political candidates that I am aware of.
That’s because such transmitters are illegal to begin with, and has nothing to do with the right to free speech.

That said, there are many stupid things about Japan, so this isn’t really surprising at all.

dorpus says:

The Ishihara Regime

Tokyo is run by right-wing governor Shintaro Ishihara, who has publicly predicted that in the event of a major earthquake, Chinese and Korean residents will start slaughtering Japanese. He has also imposed penalties for schoolteachers who refuse to sing the pro-Emperor anthem.
Recently, he has infuriated France by saying that “French don’t know how to count, therefore it is not worthy of an international language.” He also described the Japanese occupation of Korea as the “Korean people’s choice”.

http://www.japan-press.co.jp/2003/2357/tokyogov.html

Back in the 1980s, he wrote a book, “The Japan That Can Say No”, in which he predicted that the US economy will fall apart. So yeah, it is safe to say that Tokyo is run by a fascist government.

Reed says:

Japan, the new USA

“Tokyo is run by right-wing governor Shintaro Ishihara, who has publicly predicted that in the event of a major earthquake, Chinese and Korean residents will start slaughtering Japanese. He has also imposed penalties for schoolteachers who refuse to sing the pro-Emperor anthem.
Recently, he has infuriated France by saying that “French don’t know how to count, therefore it is not worthy of an international language.” He also described the Japanese occupation of Korea as the “Korean people’s choice”.”

Our own little USA! Ahhh the Generals who conquered Japan must be so proud!

They even hate the French! 🙂 wow, just amazing. I bet all those neocapitalists and neoliberals just cream their pants when they read stuff like this.

Reed says:

Is there a similarity?

What gives you that idea? Remember, Ishihara hates the USA just as much as he hates everyone else.

Oh just that he is following so closely our footsteps in the political arena using fear and hostility to control and manipulate the people. Plus the fascism seems to be right at heart with our recent preferentially treatment of companies like Halliburton.

Dr. A (user link) says:

@ dorpus & mike

@dorpus
To say that “Japan is the world’s largest abductor of children” is as true as to say that “US army is the world’s largest criminal organization” just because it refuses the International Court authority.
@Mike
Why can’t a country have it’s own law ? And if the law said there must not be campaigning like the one on youtube then THEY can talk about it and one day maybe change it. In the mean time shouldn’t Tokyo Election Commission follow the Japanese law ?

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