Sunday, December 19, 2010

YouTube Shrink Wraps Pro Israel Videos

YouTube provides a forum to millions of people from around the world for everything from opinion to instruction, from entertainment to family videos. Understandably, they need a mechanism in place to remove material that is offensive, indecent or infringes upon copyright law. A lot of people vent their anger at each other. Serbs and Croats, Greeks and Turks as well as Democrats and Republicans diss and disagree with each other regularly. Sometimes it gets over the top, and YouTube removes the offending video. Other times, the video is deemed offensive enough that one has to log in as an adult and promise to absolve YouTube of any culpability for being offended. This is a needed protective mechanism, but one that can be misused.

Sometimes, it is not violence or sexual impropriety that gets a video quarantined, but the political sensitivities of a lobbying group. I have found two videos that were stirring in their presentation of the State of Israel as a law abiding and decent nation, faced with murderous opponents. There is one user on YouTube named puttingitmildly, who abides by any reasonable code of internet conduct in refraining from incitement, bigotry or obscenity.

Despite this, his video "I Am Israel" has been quarantined with TouTube's "offensive content" designation, which has been misused with regularity by Israel's opponents on YouTube. I viewed the entire video and found no racism, profanity or graphic depictions of violence. The video defended Israel and described the actions of its opponents in a manner that was well within any reasonable person's definition of reasonably conducted political debate.
In the interests of free speech, and because I support the message of both videos,  I have uploaded both "I am Israel and "I am Palestine" to my web site " I have also cross posted this article on Globe Tribune.Info.

I do not support racism, profanity or obscenity at all on my own web sites, and I find the videos well within the parameters I have established for reasonable political discourse. At some later date I may well focus on racist and bigoted videos that have yet to be flagged on YouTube. My hunch is that a lot of the censorship and moderating that is done on YouTube is done by tabulating the number of caomplaints rather than judging their actual merit. I do not believe that YouTube has an anti Israel bias. Unless Blogger gives me a hard time, I expect these videos to be up for a while. I thank blogger in advance for their accomodation.

I am Palestine

I am Israel

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just today, Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli NGO that studies Palestinian society sent out a bulletin saying that YouTube has closed down PMW’s main video account – PALWATCH – for “violating YouTube terms of use”, by supposedly propagating hate speech. Of course PMW does not promote hate speech, but exposes the hate speech of the PA and the Hamas, in order to bring about its elimination.