Sunday, July 29, 2007

YouTube Refuses to Watch Out for Violent Videos

First, I think it demonstrates both cultural decline and a negative aspect of technology that brutal fights between kids as young as 11 or so are available on YouTube. Note that I'm against government censorship, and so I'm not implying that government should be doing anything about this.

Second, this quote by YouTube brings up an ineresting and related point:

The site, which is owned by Google, claims pre-screening content is a form of censorship which is not the role of a private company.

That's a fascinating statement, because for one thing, it could be taken to imply that censorship is thus the role of some other, non-private entity (i.e., government). That's a loose interpretation, I admit, but it's there.

Second, it's not "censorship" when YouTube polices its content for any kind of material, be it obscenity, hate speech, copyrighted material, or kids committing crimes and brutally assaulting someone. It's YouTubes property that's being used to show these videos, and so YouTube has every right--and some might say, moral responsibility--to control what's being posted.

I mentioned earlier that government should do nothing to stop YouTube from posting anything but copyrighted materials (because that, in and of itself, is a crime and is not protected speech), and so I'm not condoning censorship. But anyone who finds this material, and others, offensive should engage in their own freedom of expression by refusing to use the site and even, if they wish, to organize boycotts against the site's advertisers.

I find Google more and more cavalier in what they find appropriate in how to conduct business. They're motto "Do No Evil" sounds more and more hollow every day.

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