This video comes via I Want Ice Water and The Thinking Atheist. And as someone who has expressed concern about censorship on the Internet, I felt obliged to post it. Particularly because objections to acts of censorship sometimes are themselves censored.
Apparently YouTube has decided to take down certain videos because certain religious figures found them offensive. It doesn’t really matter which religion is involved, and it doesn’t really matter which videos were taken down, because it’s not a religious issue. It’s a free speech issue. YouTube trampled someone’s rights simply because someone else claimed offense.
Well I find it offensive that YouTube would do such a thing. I find it offensive that any group anywhere, simply by saying they are offended, can infringe the free speech rights of another group or individual — without a hearing, a trial, or recourse. I find it offensive that YouTube would accommodate such a demand. But it’s more than offensive. It’s another step on that same slippery slope of censorship that SOPA/PIPA wanted to navigate — allowing the mere claim of violation or offense to override someone else’s equally valid right to free speech. What’s next? All hunting videos taken down because they offend PETA? All GOP videos taken down because they offend Democrats? Come on, YouTube, where will you draw the line?
This is reminiscent of Twitter’s new policy that allows them to block tweets in those countries whose governments object to them. At least Twitter had the courage to make a big announcement. YouTube hasn’t.
Once again, the people and their free speech have lost out to the power and influence of a powerful special interest. Whether it’s an overreaching government, an oppressive religion, or a powerful industry, freedom is at stake.
Unfortunately, if YouTube takes down this video, my embedded copy will go with it. Such is the power of YouTube. They shouldn’t abuse it.
~ Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty ~
- Thunderf00t: YouTube Has Started Banning Religiously Offensive Videos (freethoughtblogs.com)
- Sunday Sermon – View It Before It’s Censored! (iwanticewater.wordpress.com)
- Stop YouTube from Keeping History of Videos You’ve Watched (beast4romtheeast.wordpress.com)
- YouTube’s Censorship of Religiously Offensive Material is Evil (news.yahoo.com)