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?

Filed Under: , , , , , ,
Companies: google, youtube

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Thank Joe Lieberman For YouTube Accidentally Censoring Key Syrian Watchdog's YouTube Channel”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Ninja (profile) says:

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.


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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

Not an Electronic Rodent (profile) says:

Re: 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”…)

sgt_doom (profile) says:

” 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! ! !

PRMan (profile) says:


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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Fensty (profile) says:

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.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...