Sunday, February 11, 2007

Free Speech Around the World

On the Instapundit site, I ran across this reference to Google's double standard on freedom of speech. For a full account from the British man whose videos can no longer been seen on YouTube, Click Here. The man seems to be flummoxed; he speaks hesitatingly, and, several times, flounders around for his thoughts. I have to believe that he is devastated by the corporate denial of service.

For, that's what this is - a CORPORATE decision to remove his access. YouTube is NOT a public entity; they have the complete right to refuse his use of his service.

Which is not to say that I'm in agreement with the Google decision - feel free to contact them to urge re-instatement of his account. But, this is NOT a case of censorship - that's a decision by a government to repress speech or writing.

Other accounts of the action are at Slashdot, whose story about Google's actions is linked.

I'm hoping for a free-speech advocate (or foundation) to start up an alternative to Google's YouTube. Be warned, however, they will also likely host videos that exploit women, are incredibly gross, over-the-top incendiary, politically marginal - perhaps with doubtful conspiracy theories or mysterious plots. Of course, they will have the option to put limits on the content, but profitability is the alternative tug on their emotions.

A better suggestion may be for a free-speech foundation to host space for the rejected. With bandwidth getting so cheap, it couldn't cost that much. Of course, the videomakers will lose the access of YouTube - and the audience. They'll find their audience is like the PBS audience - limited, self-selected, and out of touch with the mainstream. Not unlike Nick Gisburne.

2 comments:

God said...

Allah has replied to this controversy on the Blog of the Gods, pointing out that if He hadn't made His religion so militant, it might never have spread so quickly. He's angry at YouTube for removing a video He believes may scare some more people into believing in him. He promises an awful lot of burning if they don't.

gravelrash said...

I'm an Aussie who does some editing work for Arlene Peck, a tireless pro-Israel, anti-Islamic activist from California. Google censored her articles in about Sept/August last year. To date, she has not been reinstated - but she keeps on writing!
It's a small thing, but I boycott google. There are plenty of other search engines, after all!