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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Filed Under: activism, free speech, joe lieberman, syria, terrorism, videos, youtube
Companies: google, youtube


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  1. identicon
    Fensty, 8 Jan 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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