Two stories in the news offer contrasting approaches by Web companies to
questions of free speech. First YouTube: reader skraps notes that the Google
property has recently banned the popular atheist commentator Nick
Gisburne. Gisburne had been posting videos with logical arguments
against Christian beliefs; but when he
turned his attention to Islam (mirror of Gisburne's video by another
user), YouTube pulled the plug, saying: 'After being flagged by members
of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below
has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated
attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been
permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down.' Amazon.com
provides a second example of how to react to questions of free speech.
Reader theodp sends along a story in
TheStreet.com about how Amazon hung up
on customers wanting to comment on its continuing practice of
selling animal-fighting magazines. The article notes that issues of free
speech are rarely cut-and-dried, and that Amazon is doing itself no
favors by going
up against the Humane Society.
Update: 02/11 04:25 GMT by KD : updated Nick Gisburne link to new account.