Tuesday, December 14, 2010

YouTube's New Flag For Videos


YouTube has quietly added a new category viewers can use to flag inappropriate videos: "promotes terrorism."

The new category, which went live in early November, is a subcategory of the "Violent or Repulsive Content" category users can choose when they report material on the site. The addition occurred shortly after lawmakers in the U.S. and Britain pressured the site to do something about terror-related content.

Good job, Google, defending free speech just like our governments do. [/snark]

Apparently this has to do with their removal of hundreds of videos of American cleric Anwar Awlaki, "connected" to Al Qaeda - Arabian Peninsula, last month. (The word "connected" is not mine. Read the TPM article.) Again, good job of defending free speech, Google. [/snark]

Considering Assange and Awlaki, it seems free speech is more and more frequently the victim of the government's War on Terror (sorry; I won't give up the term).

Sooner or later, every blogger who writes about unpleasant people, defending their constitutional right to free expression, is going to find him- or herself charged with a crime, quite possibly with no due process rights to challenge what could well be indefinite detention. I've already instructed Stella that if I suddenly disappear, she should try to find me somewhere in the federal prison system, charged with thoughtcrime.

We live in a greeeeeaaaat nation!

AFTERTHOUGHT: I've posted three videos on YouTube. One is a picture of my hand reflecting rainbows projected by one of those sun-powered rainbow makers. Another is an image of a model unicycle riding a wire, the whole apparatus suspended from the ceiling of an ice cream parlor in a small town in Texas. One more is a flower blowing in a strong wind, with wind chimes sounding in the background. I wonder what the alleged terrorist content of those might be...


  1. "I wonder what the alleged terrorist content of those might be..." That would be Sec. 1984: Committing absurdity against innocent proletarians.

  2. Jeez, another lefty whiner! Just stay in your designated Free Speech Zone and you'll be fine, Steve.

  3. mandt, paintedjaguar...

    mandt, absurdity is my mission and commission; no way I can NOT be absurd.

    PJ, what's that you say about a desecrated free speech zone?

  4. Hmm, looking at my own YouTube, I have:

    1. Videos of my cat doing, well, cat things.
    2. Videos of Jeeps doing, well, Jeep things.
    3. Videos of me singing a few of my songs, of which two have political content that might be considered offensive to Republicans.

    I suppose the last will be what causes the charge of terrorism against me, given my complete lack of singing skills :).

    - Badtux the Singing-handicapped Penguin

  5. what this means is that people will just start flagging anything they don't like as "terrorism". holiday videos from israel will be flagged as "pro-terrorist" by the substantial community in the arab world who wants an israeli tourism boycott. greeks will flag all turkish videos are terrorist and turks will flag all greek videos as terrorist. any political commericial on youtube will be flagged by the people supporting the opponent.

    that's the problem when you crowdsource these kinds of things.

  6. BadTux, upyernoz...

    BadTux, it's not your music videos... it's the cat videos. Cats are by their nature subversive and disobedient; rather than simply attributing that to the nature of cats, the nut-cases will punish the only party involved that could comprehend the nature of the "crime": you.

    'noz - precisely. How could it be otherwise? In selected decades over the past two centuries, the right wingnuts have sought some loose classification with which they can burn any ordinary citizen they want. For a long time, 40 years or more, the commonest was "Communist." Anyone the radical fascists didn't like was called a Commie. With the end of Soviet Communism, the wingnuts desperately needed a new enemy, until... along came "terra-ists," as GeeDubya always called them. I still mourn the chaotic variety of YouTube. I haven't posted anything in years; there are simply too many rules now... rules and terra-ist watchdogs.



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