YouTube, Once Again, Pressured To Remove Terrorist Videos; Feel Any Safer?
from the mildly-inconvenienced dept
A couple years ago, Senator Joe Lieberman spent some time grandstanding over the fact that some terrorist groups had posted videos to YouTube. He complained about YouTube/Google allowing this, and it didn’t take long for YouTube to capitulate and ban such videos. Now, YouTube/Google is free to do what it wants in terms of banning content, but the whole thing was pretty silly. It’s not as if some random person surfing YouTube is going to find an Al Qaeda video and suddenly want to join up. But, more to the point, it’s not as if they can’t just post videos elsewhere. On top of that, by “banning” the videos, it gives off the impression that there’s something really important in those videos that you shouldn’t see, rather than recognizing that they’re silly boasting that can be responded to.
However, it seems like grandstanding on such things is just too easy to do. The latest now involves UK diplomats who have pressured YouTube to remove a bunch of videos of an extremist cleric. Wired gets the title exactly right in its article on the subject: “YouTube Yanks Jihadi Videos; Terror Wannabes Mildly Inconvenienced.” The article goes on to point out that these videos are widely available elsewhere, and removing them from YouTube doesn’t make them any more difficult to find (though, does alert people that there’s something “bad” about these videos).