Monday, May 19, 2008

Dialogue with Sen. Lieberman on terrorism videos



(Cross-posted from the YouTube blog)

Last week, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) contacted us to voice his concerns about seeing videos from several Islamic terrorist organizations on YouTube. We appreciated our dialogue with Senator Lieberman and his staff and wanted to explain to the YouTube community how we responded to his concerns.

First, some background: hundreds of thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube every day. Because it is not possible to pre-screen this much content, we have developed an innovative and reliable community policing system that involves our users in helping us enforce YouTube's standards. Millions of users report potential violations of our Community Guidelines by selecting the "Flag" link while watching videos.

Senator Lieberman's staff identified numerous videos that they believed violated YouTube's Community Guidelines. In response to his concerns, we examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site, primarily because they depicted gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or used hate speech. Most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate our Community Guidelines.

Senator Lieberman stated his belief, in a letter sent today, that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube -- even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos. While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. We believe that YouTube is a richer and more relevant platform for users precisely because it hosts a diverse range of views, and rather than stifle debate we allow our users to view all acceptable content and make up their own minds. Of course, users are always free to express their disagreement with a particular video on the site, by leaving comments or their own response video. That debate is healthy.

We appreciate Senator Lieberman alerting us to videos that violated our policies -- and encourage our users to continue to do the same through the flagging tool. And while we disagree with him about the details of our policies, we respect his views and thank him for giving us the chance to respond to his concerns.

53 comments:

Gordon Wendt said...

Nice to see Google actually embodying their don't be evil policy even when the person who's asking for this stuff is a (sic) Senator (since I guess calling him anything else would probably get this comment removed).

Good for you Google for standing up against Senator Censorship and still upholding you're community standards in the process to remove innapropriate videos.

http://search-engines-web.com/ said...

Running or hiding from reality makes no sense.....


We have to KNOW what goes on in the world and what people are thinking ....


It is never safe to hide from reality - it is always better to confront it and determine what challenges are there to be faced

Reality is reality - whether we want to avoid it or not.

RSL said...

It's interesting to me that youtube has decided remove these videos when there has been considerable press on anti-Islamic films being present on youtube and there has not been any effort to remove them, despite the fact they contain "hate speech". My prime example is he Geert Wilders film "Fitna" which is available on youtube right now which has both received a great deal of press and outrage from Muslims across the world. This film is chock full of anti-Islamic hate speech and yet because it agrees with the Western mentality of labeling Muslims as terrorists, it persists on youtube. While my personal belief is that youtube should not remove Islamic terrorist organization videos or "Fitna" just based on the fact they contain hate speech because it threatens the free exchange of ideas, I would appreciate it if youtube was consistent in their censorship philosophies. I would hope that youtube and google don't favor the opinions of a US senator over its users who have made it what it is today.

Andres said...

Google should have coherence and not tolerate any censorship from any government. They haven't do the same for China. It's a pity.
Google is not from United States, belong to Internet, if lawmakers try to cut google freedom, people will move to a new "Google", far away from their laws.
Censorship is not the solution. Education it is.

Brandon said...

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

I recommend Mr. Lieberman go back and read the source material. How cowardly to fear words and ideas.

Jeremiah said...

I wonder why Mr. Lieberman wants the citizenry to remain uninformed. Does he want the only information outlet to be Fox News? Don't answer that.

In the absence of an informed citizenry, a democracy devolves into government by media. Those who control the media control the votes. Mr. Lieberman would like very much for the US constitution to be destroyed and replaced with Knesset fiat. Under LIEberman, we can all expect our civil rights to be respected as much as those of the Palestinians under zionist rule.

Thanks, GooTube, for doing the right thing. You are one of my last hopes for the future of this country. I'd like to see you start flexing your political muscle in the near future, it's sorely needed.

omop said...

Its always honorable to do the right thing. and its always the right thing to acknowledge and honorable act[ion].

In this case Google has the right thing.

In the case of Senator Lieberman one wonders whether he fully appreciates and understands what being just an American means.

Dawn said...

This is sickening! It is more Republican censorship of the consequences of their wars. This is nothing short of a form of fascism. Violence is a form of entertainment in this country, but when its in the form of an illegal war the right-wing doesn't want voters to see the results of their mass murderous policies. Shame on you Google.

BrooklynPIg said...

Did Lieberman comment on videos in which he himself calls for war on Iran? Did he comment on videos in which he advocated pre-emptive strikes on countries? Did he comment on videos in which he portrays American citizens as terrorists for not supporting the Iraq war? Did he comment on his conflict of interest with regard to representing and advocating Israel's political interests in our Government - even when they run counter to US interests? Did he comment on the amount of financial support his campaign gets from AIPAC, which might make his anti-islam views seem less than objective?

Joe Lieberman is looking for a wedge issue to bolster for the presidential campaign in which her serves as a "foreign policy [read: ISRAEL] advisor" to John McCain. In addition, he is seeking to undermine net neutrality by presenting non-issues. He continues to live in a long-gone era before Internet. Let's remember his claims that Ned Lamont had "sabotaged" his Senate campaign by hacking his campaign's server. The reality? His IT consultants were incompetent. That conclusion was made by the FBI.

It will be nice to see him relegated to a has been role after the conclusion of this election cycle.

He peddles fear and advocates war (i.e. terror by another name).

M said...

People of Connecticut .... You have a duty to get rid of this facist.

Jaimie said...

Lieberman is such of tool of the xenophobic warmongering wing of the Republican party. Why anyone even listens to him is a mystery to me.

Bushed said...

We came so close to having Lieberman in white house. In retrospect it was good Gore lost. Joe, used car lots always looking for good saleman

betz55 said...

Get this, the whole YouTube, Google thing was in Haaretz and the J'Post a couple months back with little interest and no response. Guess what ? , now Lieberman is making a issue of it. Lieberman is an Israel firster and a scumbag of the first order. Just an Israeli/neo Zionazi mouthpiece. I want to thank Google for resisting censorship and standing up against this sort of pervasive BS. Go back to Israel Lieberman, your ilk are not wanted here.

Mike said...

My thanks to Google for choosing to uphold America's freedom of speech.

I oft wonder why Sen. Lieberman doesn't officially change his party over to those on whose side he consistently advocates. Calling him a Democrat is beginning to feel as odd as would calling Ted Kennedy a Republican.

TruthisTreason said...

Joe Leiberman is not a real American, real Americans aren't scared of terrorists! The only Americans scared of terrorists are the ones who don't have guns..! Joe Leiberman and our government want total control over all propaganda. Great job Google, the internet is the last "checks and balances" left on this totalitarian government.

asha said...

Lieberman, like all of Bush Co., is terrified of Democracy. Still Google remains polite towards this scum bag. Thank you for living Democracy, even when it requires wearing a clothes-pin on the nose

Josh said...

Great Job! Freedom of speech is not negotiable in a truly free society. The founding fathers are rolling over in their graves at what the neocons (and yes Lieberman is a neocon) are trying to do to this country.

Please Vote Obama 2008 and put this horrendous chapter in our history behind us. We need a fresh start.

megacephalus said...

Please tell "Traitor Joe" that this is still the USA and not Israel... yet... so we are at least nominally a democracy, etc., etc.

@RSL

ALL the material in the Dutch Video / Film was Muslims IN THEIR OWN WORDS... which, you are correct... is MOSTY "hate speach"... THEIRS NOT OURS!

Save the West!

Yehuda Cohn said...

Congratulations to Google for standing up for free speech and not capitulating to political pressure!

Senator Lieberman has repeatedly demonstrated himself to be so out of touch with mainstream political thinking on matters of U.S. foreign policy and terrorism that he is no longer a credible figure in the ongoing public discussion.

JimBob said...

Right on for standing up for a diverse community of expression. OTOH, what's with all the bowing and scraping toward Lieberman. The man may be a senator, but he's a total douchebag, too. This is a democracy, we don't bow and scrape to authority.

Madrid and the Mediterranean said...

I think it would be great to start a movement which encouraged every youtube user to flag any video of McCain or Lieberman that casts them in a positive light. If they want to use youtube to force their views on the public, then why cant i?

Yehuda Cohn said...

Lieberman is widely seen as being in the extreme neocon fringe on matters foreign policy and terrorism, and by any objective measure his public expressions can only be construed as racist toward Muslims and inciting violence and hostility towards nations for which we are not at war and do not threaten us.

Angela said...

Hello? I thought YouTube was already censoring video content! Just because they decided not to side with Big Brother this time is hardly a victory of any sort.

Yehuda Cohn said...

YouTube certainly already censors such material, and nine times out of ten it will probably side with government. It is also likely that what it considers acceptable in terms of the violence and hate speech guidelines for US-centric material would be viewed in the contrary coming from a nation or group currently in disfavor.

ruination said...

Joe Lieberman represents the State Of Israel more than he does the state of Connecticut.If John McCain is elected president Lieberman will be name Secretary of State and lead America into even more wars with the enemies of Israel to both our detriment.stop him now.

Rightwing said...

"While we respect and understand his views ..."

Pardon me, but I don't believe his views warrant any respect at all. It's something about the US Constitution and the First Amendment. That niggling little detail called "freedom of speech".

The senator has a right to his views, but I have no obligation to respect them. Further, as a US Senator, he should know better than to advocate government strong arming Google into removing content. That, in my opinion, is sufficient grounds to impeach his ass.

Finally, cases make it to the US Supreme Court all the time because some legislative jerk decided to pass some law abridging the US Constitution. The worst that can happen, from the legislators' point of view, is that the law gets overturned. What should happen is that in egregious cases where the legislator knew or should have known that the law was unconstitutional on its face is criminal prosecution for attempting to overthrow the government by subverting the Constitution. There simply has got to be some form of sanction on legislators who do this.

Yehuda Cohn said...

Ron Paul once said that the weakest argument a senator or house member can possibly raise against proposed legislation is that “it’s unconstitutional."

The US Constitution is now little more than symbolism from American history, much like scenes in a Norman Rockwell painting, and is simply no longer operative as US law, especially as it relates to the government.

A said...

When the media gives air time to propaganda paid for by the Bush regime, very few people cry foul. Joe Lieberman is a sick puppy, just like the rest of the war hawks.

Joe Crawford (artlung) said...

I am proud of Google for their stance in this matter. Their response is balanced, and I believe firm.

Mr. Lieberman's motives are toward the good, but enacting the changes he desires undermine the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, which he has sworn to protect.

Jehovah's Vengeful Spirit said...

Free Speech is of the DEVIL! If you don't control what the evil forces of society say, the Liberals take over! And from there, it's just a slippery slope until the Libs start molesting our children and End Times are upon us!!!

ty said...

Jehova's spirit, the end times rapture will purge the earth of people like you and I cant wait!!
We want our earth back, so please go...
Google was too nice to Lieberman. I am sick of this nutty Zionist warmonger with his whining and brownnosing!

Bruce said...

I have a lot of faith in people to identify videos that advocate violence (or anything evil, for that matter). I don't have lots of faith in government's ability to preserve freedom of speech when it censors the Internet.

Has anyone noticed a difference between the Internet and what the Chinese people see?

Yehuda Cohn said...

We in the US have have only the appearance, not the substance, of "freedom of Speech."

Marc Love said...

Thank you for standing up for Free Speech Google. Its sad when we have to depend on companies to be better at protecting the Bill of Rights than Senators serving in the United States Congress.

Did you forget your oath Senator? Or do you just not care about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?

Yehuda Cohn said...

In re "Senator Joe Lieberman (I)"

If the "I" stands for Israel, his position makes perfect sense.

moondancer said...

Thanks for slapping down the senator. His zealotry is shameful. I hope the agent of Zionism is sent packing in his re-election in a few years.

Krupal said...

I guess google would also remove Wright comments as those amount to "Hate Speech" like pundits say. Wonder??????

Yehuda Cohn said...

I don't agree that Wright's remarks rise to the level of "hate speech" that needs to be censored. In fact, in my opinion, short of inciting immediate violence, such speech would need to be exceptionally false and malicious, among other things, to qualify for censorship.

The Saint said...

So Sen. Loserman's staff is watching utube videos and our tax money is paying for this. Talk about the fleecing of America.

Yehuda Cohn said...

What ever happened to:

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

Antiquated notion no longer befitting our enlightened society?

RebeliousArcAngel said...

Does anyone still remember what a "Capo" used to be in the German occupied Europe of the 30's and 40's? No? Well, when one sees the lowlife way inwhich this little coward rabbit-like Lieberman conducts himself everytime the party which he happens to be supporting at that moment goes weak, then one could de facto call him just that, a Capo. Those where the rats who sold out their own people in them concentration camps. Those who often executed the bodily harm upon their own sisters and brothers. Some say that their defence would be that they tried to survive them selves. no matter what their so called defence might be, I consider them to be the lowest of low and the same kind of coward wind capers who will follow any faul stench as long as it serves their aim of survival. See, in my view, thats exactly what this rat Lieberman is.

Sims said...

Keep talking Lieberman---now we know that you don't believe in or respect Free Speech. Thanks for letting us know where you and John McCain stand, since you seem to be tied at the hip. This is the best thing that could have happen. I hope that everyone take note. This man is dangerous to America and its freedoms. Stop him and Mccain while you have the chance. This was only a sample of what would come.

wanderlustart said...

Personally I wish Lieberman would relocate to Israel -- over time it has become obvious his concerns are far more centered there than here.
Nowhere in our Constitution that I am aware of are the words "Thou Shalt Not Do Anything to Annoy Israel"

How we ever became so beholden to Israel is beyond me.
Is Israel an important ally? ABSOLUTELY. But so is England and Thailand and so on and so forth and I simply don't see us wringing our hands and worrying ourselves silly over every little thing with our other equally important allies.

I'm tired of this preferential behavior. Actually what I'm REALLY tired of is the EXPECTATION that everyone should kowtow to the demands of every whine people like Lieberman come up with.

And I'm tired of people like Lieberman using Israel and intentionally confusing being Jewish with being pro-Israel. Or if you will, DISAGREEING with Israel being ANTI-SEMITIC. That's just stupid, but they've done a brilliant job selling that one and I think we should go back to distinguishing between religion and a political body, ie government.

Sims said...

Lieberman has shown over and over again that his main interest is not the troops or America but the desire to keep fighting in the Middle East in an attempt in what he and Mccain feel will keep Israel safe, this is no secret I think we all know that by now. This man is a trader to our country.

Matt said...

Wow, Lieberman makes a polite request (NO LAW = NO CENSORSHIP!!!) to remove some offensive material, and we get some lovely peace-loving, Israel-friendly comments from his fans:

"This man is a trader to our country."

"Go back to Israel Lieberman, your ilk are not wanted here."

"Lieberman is such of tool of the xenophobic warmongering wing of the Republican party."

"Joe Lieberman is a sick puppy, just like the rest of the war hawks."

"the same kind of coward wind capers who will follow any faul stench as long as it serves their aim of survival. See, in my view, thats exactly what this rat Lieberman is."

At least antisemitism isn't being censored.

elsoven unmed said...

Senator Lieberman, should the videos showing violence by settlers toward Palestinians and peace activists be removed? I found them compelling. There was no denying what I saw. It helped me come to certain conclusions.

I saw the settlers engaging in violence and "hate speech". I saw that the IDF solder, who was right there watching, would not stop the settlers.

In certain cases, violence and "hate speech" on a video are very helpful. It lets me see the situation for myself.

Do you think that I may join these extremist settlers because I watched them on a video? Probably not. Probably wouldn't join an Islamist group either.

Robert said...

Good for Lieberman! How ironic that liberals will cry foul at anything that goes against their values but will stand up for terrorist training vids. Try to say something that is even moderate on any college campus and watch yourself get shouted down and censored. Today's liberals forget all of the censorship that was necessary when FDR was in power to counteract the Nazi threat. Funny too, seeing the various veiled anti-Semitic references from the caring liberals here as well. Finally, a special message for the female posters here, try moving to a repressive Islamic society and see what happens to you when you start to express yourself! Long live the USA!

The Raghead Times said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Raghead Times said...

why does youtube systematically remove koran desecration videos yet allow terrorist videos to stay forever?

RickD said...

He is only reacting to the issue because his constituents are asking him to. Do you think he actually knows what’s on YouTube?

Google value 6. “You can make money without doing evil.” Allowing hate speech is evil. I lost my brother in WTC II. I am truly disappointed in Google. I only represent a constituent of one. But I for one will not be using Google any longer.

John Maszka said...

I think the current administration has done enough to restrict our civil liberties already. The Bush administration’s push toward the “imperial presidency” has taken advantage of the fear induced by 9/11 to shift the balance of power markedly in favor of the Executive.

This transition was marked by a myriad of developments including the passage of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act) otherwise known as the Patriot Act (The White House, 2006).

The passage of the Patriot Act both reflected and contributed to a significant shift in the balance of power away from Congress and in favor of the executive office. The USA PATRIOT Act was passed by Congress within weeks and signed by President Bush on October 26, 2001, just fifteen days after the attacks.

While the reach of this act is unprecedented, overriding some 48 state laws regarding civil liberties, the USA PATRIOT Act was just one of many developments that significantly increased the power of the executive office.

As for the proliferation of terrorism, the current administration's foreign policy is doing more to promote terrorism than any propaganda videos could ever hope to achieve.

The New York Times reported on June 16, 2002, based on conversations with senior government officials: “Classified investigations of the Qaeda threat now under way at the FBI and CIA have concluded that the war in Afghanistan failed to diminish the threat to the United States, the officials said. Instead, the war may have complicated counterterrorism efforts by dispersing potential attackers across a wider geographic area” (Shalom & Albert, 2002:11).

We could fool ourselves by saying "that was then, this is now." However the 2006 NSS advocates the same foreign policy as the 2002 NSS.

Mark said...

Lieberman thank you for your unwavering support of National Soialism for Israel and for standing up for free speech, We will not be slaves of your NWO globalists dreams.

Cat Training said...

I'm sure potentially terrorist training videos would be in violation of the National Security Policy. Unfortunately for Senator Lieberman, his office does not create or enforce this policy. Thus, it is important for all of us to continuing flagging when we see something that YouTube needs to take a look into possible removal.