It looks like the World Wide Web, the censorship-less giant whose impeccable armor has suffered its share of wounds recently, has been taken down another peg. According to the Washington Post and writer Peter Whoriskey, the video-sharing giant YouTube has caved to politically motivated politicians again.
Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman issued down a decree which states that there should be No Violence on the World Wide Web; so YouTube has all but caved in to the Senator’s pressures. Lieberman, you’ll remember, was the politician who lost his party identity recently during a Democratic Primary campaign; he came back as an Independent and the “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” base of his support in the hinterlands of Connecticut all rallied around their good time guy and proved that keeping status quo is A-OK with everyone so long as they don’t have to consider a politicians gradually shifting and changing political stance.
Lieberman is all but a eunuch after throwing his support behind the Republican brand name of John McCain in hopes of landing a supporting role in his Presidential run. But the woman from Alaska, Sarah Palin, has taken that first place trophy for the presumptive runner up and Lieberman has been cut down further and faster and once more.
But celebrating the small victories is something which helps get many of us through all of our days and in this circumstance Lieberman and his restrictive agenda have won. While YouTube and parent company Google had initially kicked the Senator’s requests to the curb, according to The Post, “the company’s stance now appears to have changed.”
For so long online people were allowed to do whatever they wanted and much of it was viewed as “play.” However when it was revealed that al-Qaeda had been conducting training videos and recruitment tools on YouTube, the website acted swiftly and in kind, shutting them down and being ever more vigilant. This as well as any violence against innocent troops and civilians is an understandable thing to be vigilant towards; but the company had always held its ground when it came to the laundry list of things Lieberman and his crack-pot team wanted taken down.
However it appears that rumblings are now blowing in the Senator’s favor. While YouTube spokesman Ricardo Reyes has stated that “we subscribe to the common sense rule,” when they are enforcing what traffic gets diverted and what traffic gets removed, there are experts who obviously have a different opinion.
“First Amendment experts,” the Whoriskey article admits, “said the company could run into trouble if the (Lieberman) phrase (“inciting others to violence”) is interpreted too broadly.” While commentators at large and the community online ponders anxiously, Reyes disagrees: “Our guidelines are not written for lawyers,” he told The Post.
So it goes that users wait and see just what they can and cannot get away with anymore; and who comes to their rescue if their freedoms are being impinged upon.
As it is right now, you can’t imagine you’d find the Senator from Connecticut riding in to the resuce on his sexless horse.