Should YouTube play the censor and sentinel?:
In the wake of the Jokela High School shooting in Finland News.com has written this article asking if YouTube should censor the parent neglected little balls of hate like Pekka-Eric Auvinen. Before I educate people on the definition of censorship my answer is a resounding yes.
First of all if YouTube decides to pull any video for whatever reason that’s not censorship. Censorship, in the U.S. at least, can only come from the government. When YouTube does it, which last time I checked they were not a branch of the government, it’s called enforcing their Terms of Service.
Here is all the reasons a YouTube video can be pulled…
1. Graphic sexual activity
“Graphic sexual activity” describes content which contains actual visible or implied sex acts.
“Nudity” refers to exposed or see-through coverage of areas typically covered by a bathing suit or underwear. Sometimes nudity is allowed on YouTube, depending on the context.
3. Suggestive, but without nudity
“Suggestive” content refers to materials with sexual themes that do not necessarily depict sexual activity or nudity. Sexually suggestive content may not be suitable for all audiences and may include fetish-related content.
4. Shocking or disgusting content
“Shocking or disgusting content” refers to disturbing imagery, such as graphic depictions of violence, accidents or gore, which lack an appropriate context.
5. Promotes hatred or violence against a protected group
Hate speech is content that promotes or encourages hatred or violence toward a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
6. Harmful dangerous acts
“Harmful dangerous acts” may include content which is depicts behavior likely to cause serious injury or death to a third party.
7. Reveals personally identifying information
This refers to revealing information that identifies another person against their wishes, such as home address, telephone number, social security number or credit card number.
I think that the videos that Auvinen and his ilk make fall under several of those guidelines. However the problem is that YouTube, which is owned by Google by the way, really only wants to police the site for copyrighted content. What they rely on is for users to flag the videos for any inappropriate content. That’s what I like to call letting the inmates run the asylum. Craigslist has a similar policy with their “erotic services” section. The problem is similar as well. People going to YouTube to see funny videos aren’t venturing in to the depths where the mutants and their killer tribute videos lurk and the ones that do aren’t going to flag the videos because that’s what they like.
However as much as I wish YouTube would shut down these mutants it really comes down to parenting. Where are these kids’ parents when they’re making these hate filled videos? Probably happy that they’re precious little snowflakes are expressing themselves rather than disciplining them for being the dumbasses that they are.