Hypocritical Google Removes Video Which Offends Thailand's King But Not Terrorists' Videos
By Andrew Cochran
On May 19, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman called on Google
to remove to remove Internet videos produced by terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda from its YouTube subsidiary. "Islamist terrorist organizations use YouTube to disseminate their propaganda, enlist followers, and provide weapons training," the Senator said in his letter. "YouTube also, unwittingly, permits Islamist terrorist groups to maintain an active, pervasive, and amplified voice, despite military setbacks or successful operations by the law enforcement and intelligence communities." Google responded
: "(W)e examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site, primarily because they depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech. Most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate our Community Guidelines."
But Google didn't remove all terrorist-sponsored videos, as Sen. Lieberman noted in another statement
on May 20. "Furthermore, Google continues to allow the posting of videos by organizations the State Department has designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. No matter what their content, videos produced by terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, that are committed to attacking America and killing Americans, should not be tolerated." Google defended its actions as measures in support of free speech and the right of free expression: "While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds."
BUT WAIT - now we find out that Google blocked a single clip from being seen by YouTube users in Thailand
because it "ran afoul of a law against insulting the 80-year-old monarch" of Thailand. Moreover, Google regularly censors its content offered in other countries, including in China, as a result of demands by host governments. "Google's ambassadors, a collection of lobbyists and lawyers, are traveling the globe to gauge what governments will tolerate -- and showing a readiness to bend America's cherished belief in free expression."
So Google claims to "encourage free speech," then censors its content outside the U.S., but won't remove terrorist-produced videos visible worldwide which could incite terrorist attacks? That is the very definition of hypocrisy. Google has no justification for not removing all the videos as demanded by Sen. Lieberman.
Someday the victims of a terrorist attack and their lawyers will find out that Google let the attacking group which killed their loved ones post its videos on YouTube, and they will sue Google for millions for providing material support and encouragement to the killers. I want to see Google try to defend that in front of a jury of Americans.
June 3, 2008 09:37 AM Link TrackBack (0) Print