Saturday, February 28, 2009

Is Even YouTube Safe?

Whoa, wait I can't watch this because...?

The above link is a personal account of an American, living here in the US, was unable to view a YouTube, video on a news feed he subscribes to, Because It Was Unavailable In His Country.

Wow, just wow. In the recent following an intense discussion with a TA for my classes I have become increasingly aware of censorship in the major media networks. Thus, now I spend hours online reading news printed in other countries as well as my own. I told myself, "Well, at least I have the internet. It's the last democratic medium." Apparently, I was wrong.

This is also not the first case where I've heard of YouTube censoring material. I will note however, those cases I discovered by reading local newspapers. And in this particular case on CNN, the Church of Scientology was sueing YouTube for libal and discrimination because of some videos that were hosted YouTube that contained anti-Scientologist material that were posted by an independent party, unaffliated with YouTube. It should be noted that this party, name ungiven, was a particular group active in spreading "unfavorable" literature about the Church. Because of the pending letigation, YouTube removed the videos and apologized.

I remember thinking, wow, that's unconstituitional. I can't believe YouTube didn't just say, "Sorry, Charlie. Ever heard of the first ammendment?" But, I also kinda shrugged it off, because it was cheaper than going to court. How unbelievably outrageous! When did I get so complacent? Talk about naive, thinking that, "Oh, okay. They did because of court costs." But it did not even occur to me that it was possible that the government could do the same thing, and we just wouldn't hear about it.

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