November 11, 2010
The Misguided Standards of YouTube
IconIn the election last week, Missy Reilly Smith ran for Washington DC delegate to the United States House of Representatives (she lost to Eleanor Holmes Norton).  Smith ran largely as an anti-abortion candidate. She ran 30 second ads which aired 24 times on local broadcast network affiliates across the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area, preceded by a 15 second warning (added by the station management) due to the shocking content. What was the ad?   It was 30 seconds of still photos of aborted babies.  Dead babies ripped apart and sucked out of a mother's womb aren't very pretty, but they are real and should be shocking to a civilized society.  We can have daily abortions by the thousands, but we can't look at exactly what is happening?   If you can't look at it, perhaps you shouldn't do it. Ms. Smith's 30 second ad was pulled from YouTube, which posted a notice that the video amounted to "a violation of YouTube's policy on shocking and disgusting content." Ahhh.  Well, you should know what, for years, YouTube has not found shocking and/or disgusting content. YouTube has been the long-term home for videos featuring calls to jihad by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born, Yemen-based cleric, who has played an increasingly public role in inspiring violence directly at....YOU.    He has literally hundreds of videos preaching and urging Muslims everywhere to join in a worldwide holy war against...YOU.  And his videos have had millions of views. So, let's get this right.  Actually seeing the results of an abortion are unacceptable on YouTube, but years of videos calling for the deliberate murder of Westerners is....what, free speech?  Terrorist recruitment videos featuring Islamic fighters with guns and rockets is free speech? A YouTube spokesperson said they are trying to distinguish videos that are merely offensive from those that cross the line of their rules prohibiting "dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts" or that come from accounts "registered by a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization" or used to promote such a group's interest.  That rule seems clear enough.  So why did it take years and years of international begging for YouTube to remove last week some - some - of the hundreds of videos featuring calls to jihad by a creep playing an increasingly public role in inspiring violence directed toward....YOU? I wish I knew the answer.  I wish I understood why a video of aborted babies got axed immediately, while several governments and individuals have struggled for years to get these jihad videos off YouTube.  I wish I knew why there is so much tolerance for this jihadist hate and violence, and so little for the fate of aborted babies.   I wish I knew.

Posted by Staff at 8:44 PM