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Two Ways Not To Handle Free Speech

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the hang-up-or-takedown dept.

Censorship 686

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.

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Other arguments against Christians. (-1, Offtopic)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967744)

At first I thought Nick Gisburne might be this guy [youtube.com] . Fortunately, that video is still up. Hillarious and oh so telling.

Re:Other arguments against Christians. (5, Informative)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968052)

At first I thought Nick Gisburne might be this guy [youtube.com] . Fortunately, that video is still up. Hillarious and oh so telling.

That video is about Mormons, not Christians. It's true that Mormons claim to be Christians, but that claim is very controversial and is not accepted by most of mainstream Christianity. There are literally thousands of different Christian groups, and to some extent they all reject some of the beliefs of others, but most groups accept that most of the others are in fact Christians. The hit rate with Mormonism, however, is very low, in both directions. That is, most Christian groups do not accept Mormonism as a form of Christianity, and Mormonism rejects most other groups as well.

Of course, the question of who gets to define the term "Christian" is a complex one, but if you let the majority of people who apply it to themselves also be the ones who define it, then it probably doesn't include Mormonism.

Also, one other telling difference is that most Christian groups use only the Bible as their sacred text. Mormonism also has the Book of Mormon, which (as I understand it) takes precedence in case the two disagree. The only other major difference between sacred texts within Christianity is over the exact canonization of the books within the Bible. Catholics have a few more than Protestants, and there are a few other differences here and there. But this is a comparatively minor difference: all books that Protestants and Catholics disagree on are from the same historical time period, and the disagreement is really more about authenticity and authorship than anything. If you categorize groups based on what their sacred text is, Mormonism has about as much similarity to Christianity as Islam has.

Re:Other arguments against Christians. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968208)

If you categorize groups based on what their sacred text is, Mormonism has about as much similarity to Christianity as Islam has.


I'm not so sure about that, Mormons do say that they "believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/a_of_f/1) (see number 8) Different from most Christian demoninations, who believe the Bible to be absolutely perfect and the final word on everything, but I think that also shows more belief than a Muslim would have in the Bible.

Just FYI.

Religion (4, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967754)

Doesn't surprise me that someone who criticizes religion gets censored. After all, religious ideas are completely sacred and can't possibly be questioned by anyone. That would be progress, and progress is WRONG.

It wasn't religion, it was Islam; (4, Insightful)

BigChigger (551094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967780)

when it was Christianity, it was OK.

Re:Religion (5, Insightful)

grogdamighty (884570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967802)

I know this is Slashdot, but did you read the summary? This Gisburne fellow posted quite a few videos about Christianity without any problems. It was only when he posted them against Islam that it became a problem, and that because a number of users flagged it. I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam - which Americans have an awkward relationship with right now due to the quandary posed by having a significant (and peaceful) Muslim minority while fighting against any number of predominantly-Muslim foes in the name of fighting terrorism. As you can see, it's the sort of fight that political correctness (in all its self-righteous glory) demands.

Re:Religion (5, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968042)

Someone needs to start a new religion that can speak freely - and as a religion it will be protected. Take down notices can be vehemently fought on religious grounds. Fight fire with fire, as it were.

It can't be that hard, there are plenty of made up religions that have protected status standing. I mean if Science Fiction writers can make up religions, why can Slashdotters?

How about making up a religion called Objectivity? You can have the Church of Objectivity, the members would be Objectivists, and the main tenant would be that to get to Heaven you must point out the failings of other religions.

You can tell people that this is the Word of God, because he told me so. (We were having lunch one day, at Hooters. He hadn't been here for a while, and He actually snorted milkshake out of his nose when I described to him the current dogma and beliefs of the predominant religions of the world.)

Yea, it is written, let it be so. Amen.

Re:Religion (-1, Offtopic)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968138)

*shrugs*

Re:Religion (1)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968224)

the members would be Objectivists

You don't really want all the members to be objectivists [wikipedia.org] do you?

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968060)

I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam
I dunno, they might just be covering their asses, like in the 90s, when the card game "Jihad" was renamed "Vampire" because some people pointed out that if they didn't rename it, they'd learn the true meaning of the word.

Sometimes it's political correctness, sometimes it's fear for your safety.

Re:Religion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968276)

This Gisburne fellow posted quite a few videos about Christianity without any problems. It was only when he posted them against Islam that it became a problem, and that because a number of users flagged it. I'm guessing that what we are seeing here is not protection of religion, but protection is Islam - which Americans have an awkward relationship with right now due to the quandary posed by having a significant (and peaceful) Muslim minority while fighting against any number of predominantly-Muslim foes in the name of fighting terrorism.

The answer for the different reaction is quite simple. At most, Christians will protest outside Youtube/Google's offices. Muslims will blow them up.

Re:Religion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967808)

Free enterprise is also "sacred", and it's no one's damned business what videos YouTube deletes from their own servers.

Re:Religion (4, Insightful)

teknognome (910243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967876)

Free enterprise is also "sacred", and it's no one's damned business what videos YouTube deletes from their own servers.
It's a reasonable thing for a consumer to want to know, so they can make a more-informed choice about which businesses to frequent.

Re:Religion (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968050)

The mere act of not explaining or not being transparent about what content is permitted and which is not permitted based on arbitrary rules is enough for intelligent consumers to make a very informed choice.

Those that want to make the choice should add "youtube.com 127.0.0.1" to their operating system's "host" or DNS files.

You're not missing much.

Re:Religion (0, Flamebait)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967810)

You're a Ron White fan, aren't you? :) The timbre of the second half just really seems close to one of his bits...

So much for Doing No Evil (and here come the parade of google-shills and Xian preachers to say that kowtowing to the single most retarding force in society is not evil.)

Re:Religion (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968068)

Flamebait?

Slashdotters must really hate Ron White. ;)

Re:Religion (5, Informative)

nitroamos (261075) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967870)

The irony is that in the Cruelty in the Quran video the article is referring to, what's being presented are not quotes, but paraphrases. I took the liberty of looking up some of them, and although you can see where Gisbourne is getting his paraphrase, I'm not sure that he's always correct.

For example, one of the slides at 5:06 references Sura 28:62-64. In my copy of (Yusuf Ali translation) the Quran, it is apparent that Gisbourne went ahead and helpfully replaced "them" with "Christians". Looking at the passage, it doesn't even appear to me that this is a correct paraphrase since I think Muhammad was addressing polytheists, not Christians. But I'm not an expert, so I don't know. Either way, Gisbourne made a logic jump there.

I'm just refuting any claim that these are "quotes".

Re:Religion (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968010)

>I think Muhammad was addressing polytheists, not Christians.

Perhaps, but Islam views Christianity as polytheist, due to the concept of The Trinity.

Quran Translations vary widely (5, Informative)

Derling Whirvish (636322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968258)

English-language translations of the Quran vary so widely that Islam doesn't accept them as translations, they are all regarded as paraphrases. You should read this short article [soundvision.com] to get a feel for how the various translations make errors.

Here are some other translations of that same verse (Al-Qasas 28:62):

Khalifa: The day will come when He calls upon them, saying, "Where are those idols you had set up beside Me?"

Pickthall: On the day when He will call unto them and say: Where are My partners whom ye imagined?

Shakir: And on the day when He will call them and say: Where are those whom you deemed to be My associates?

Sher Ali: And on that day HE will call to them, and say, `Where are those whom you allege to be my associates?'

Yusuf Ali: That Day (God) will call to them, and say "Where are my 'partners'?- whom ye imagined (to be such)?"

Transliteration: Wayawma yunadeehim fayaqoolu ayna shuraka-iya allatheena kuntum tazAAumoona

Re:Religion (1)

bataras (169548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968074)

that would be progress. and progress is the opposite of congress.

Re:Religion (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968080)

Would it be progress?

To a majority of Muslims, "progress" would be considered having the entire middle east living under the Sharia law as outlined by the Koran. Debates in Sharia aren't things like, "should the speaker be given use of a military jet?" but along the lines of, "when we stone adulterers to death, should it be public or private?"

Now wait a little (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967766)

So some people are trying to silence magazines about a subject they object to, and Amazon refuses to be intimidated or allow them to intimidate others on their property. Sounds more like a good way to handle free speech to me.

Re:Now wait a little (1)

macadamia_harold (947445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967898)

So some people are trying to silence magazines about a subject they object to, and Amazon refuses to be intimidated or allow them to intimidate others on their property.

Yeah, it shows what kind of company Amazon is, versus Wal-Mart who would have caved in. [metroactive.com]

Re:Now wait a little (4, Insightful)

Descalzo (898339) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968128)

The way I understand it (which may be flawed), when Wal-Mart caves in, it caves in to market pressures. When they 'censor,' they are censoring what they are willing to sell, not what the artist can produce. Wal-Mart's refusal to push somebody else's idea of art does not constitute censorship, despite what your article says.

Your link makes it sound as though there's some Church Lady in the back of every Wal-Mart Distribution Center who is bleeping out the F-Bombs on each individual CD that comes her way. And her neighbor with an airbrush, blurring out all the nasty cover art. No, they come to Wal-Mart pre-censored, and not by Wal-Mart executives. If you want to blam someone, blame the artists who are willing to violate their artistic integrity for the sales boost they get from having their albums sold at Wal-Mart.

Don't kid yourself. Amazon doing what they think is best for themselves, as is Wal-Mart.

Re:Now wait a little (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968018)

I have to agree.

Even though I may not agree with the material, it's the Humane Society that appears to be violating free speech here. Just because you find something objectionable does not mean you have the right to deny it to someone else.

As for Amazon hanging up on them, well, you have the right to voice an objection but that doesn't mean they have to listen. If Amazon was deleting comments or otherwise preventing people from making their opinions known, that might be a case for freedom of speech... but according to TFA this is not the case. Amazon is certainly within their right to ignore the complaints and risk damaging their public image.

Of course, the Human Society is claiming the material is illegal, and if that's true it adds a whole other aspect to the situation - but I don't know enough about whatever laws may apply so I can't comment on that.

=Smidge=

Re:Now wait a little (5, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968262)

As for Amazon hanging up on them, well, you have the right to voice an objection but that doesn't mean they have to listen. If Amazon was deleting comments or otherwise preventing people from making their opinions known, that might be a case for freedom of speech...

Well, no. Amazon can within very broad limits decide what gets said and not on their site. "Free speech" is not a right you have on private property. They could pull most any kind of comments at impunity and your rights would pretty much extend to taking your comment business elsewehere.

Of course, the Human Society is claiming the material is illegal, and if that's true it adds a whole other aspect to the situation - but I don't know enough about whatever laws may apply so I can't comment on that.

More to the point, the Humane Society is not the arbiter of what is legal and not. And Amazon is not the publisher of the material. If the Humane Society has issues with the legality, they should get in contact with the police or a prosecutor, and address the magazine publishers, not Amazon.

They're just using harassment as a way to stop ideas they don't like - which, in the long run, probably harms their cause more than it helps. I'm very much against blood sport, but right now I feel like laying down a bet on a dogfight just to spite these hateful morons.

Re:Now wait a little (1)

mcostas (973159) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968114)

There's a difference between something you "object to" and something explicitly illegal. Sounds like Amazon is being moronic to me. Way to go HSUS.

Fuck You Rosie O'Donnell - You are Satan's Bitch (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967774)

There we go.

Right to Free Speech, consider yourself excersized!

Re:Fuck You Rosie O'Donnell - You are Satan's Bitc (1, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967856)

Don, you're wanted on the set... please get off of slashdot and practice you're "You're Fired" catchphrase. That never gets old!

Google being evil (4, Insightful)

jay2003 (668095) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967788)

Maybe now some of the Google is wonderful nonsense will stop. Censoring people on religious grounds qualifies as being evil in my book. Of course, after Google sold to out to please the Chinese government, it was clear Google had decided that greed was a better motive than not being evil.

Re:Google being evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968294)

Google had decided that greed was a better motive than not being evil.

Oh grow up. "Don't be evil" is a corporate motto, not a business rule. Also, just in case its not immediately obvious, "evil" is not well defined. So with two levels of allowable vagueness there, will you -- and everyone else like you -- please stop whining about how Google doesn't stick to "don't be evil". It's a friggin PUBLIC CORPORATION people.

Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (5, Insightful)

jdp816 (895616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967796)

Private parties can do as they please. You have *NO* constitutional right to say what you want on their services. It may not be "nice" to do, but no one can stop them from doing this. Your right may vary by state, though.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967910)

Private parties can do as they please.

Welcome to government by contract. The police can't search and seize without a warrant, but they can hire "independent" contractors with guns to come and kick down your door as you please. The government can't listen to your phonecalls, but they can pay AT&T millions to find out what they hear when they listen. The president can't declare war on his own, but he can hire mercenaries to fight wars for him.

In the 80's Capitalism crushed Communism. Now, it has turned it's cannons on Democracy.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968122)

The president can't declare war on his own, but he can hire mercenaries to fight wars for him.
I'm not sure about this one. It seems that, since the legislature has its hands on the purse strings, unless the president manages to get a budget item through for "BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO HIRE MERCENARIES", he won't have any money to do it with.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (1, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967960)

In general, your freedom ends where someone else's nose begins...

Freedom of speech doesn't imply freedom to slander, libel or incite. It rather means freedom to discuss any topic in a dry, boring, responsible, sane, adult, philosophical manner.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968054)

I think you meant "Your freedom to swing your arm ends where someone else's nose begins"... Doesn't make much sense otherwise.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968326)

No dude, he was talking about your freedom to not bathe.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968310)

Freedom of speech doesn't imply freedom to slander, libel or incite. It rather means freedom to discuss any topic in a dry, boring, responsible, sane, adult, philosophical manner.

One certainly can and should "incite". The question is, "incite what?". Also, there is nothing about it that should be "dry, boring, resonsible, sane, adult, philosophical"? The Miller standard itself is a joke and an abomination of the constitution. You're just a fucking loon.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (4, Interesting)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968090)

Unless the service is gov't regulated, like telephone lines. Common carrier status and all that. The telephone companies (at least the landlines) are not allowed to censor anything that goes over their lines. OTOH, without net neutrality, the telcos could very well examine packets and try to censor packets that are part of hate speech (or really anything they want to censor, like fluffy blue bunnies) with no legal repercussions. IANAL.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (2, Insightful)

adrianmonk (890071) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968132)

Private parties can do as they please. You have *NO* constitutional right to say what you want on their services.

Thanks for saying this. I remember years ago when The Last Temptation of Christ [imdb.com] was in theaters, it was controversial where I lived (Dallas, TX), and theaters were picketed. Some chose not to show it, and others cried "censorship!" when this happened.

Looking back on it, it was probably pointless and stupid to picket the theaters, and I think it was wrong for anyone to demand that theaters not show the movie, but it was not censorship. Freedom of speech means that the government cannot restrict you from saying what you wish. It does not mean that anyone else is somehow obligated to help you say it. If they were, that would be a restriction on their freedom. The people who owned the theaters had the right to make a business decision not to show the movie if they thought that would win them brownie points with the protesters. And that's as it should be. The alternative would be to live in a country where some government authority could force a movie theater to show movies it didn't want to show, which would be asinine.

Re:Freedom of speech is from *GOVT* censorship (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968334)

Would all you Americans please understand that your constitution is not the ultimate source of everything that is good. Of course YouTube has no legal obligation to let people put anything on their site. If they did, this would be a lawsuit and not just a Slashdot article. But YouTube (and thus Google) are being pretty evil acting like this, and we have every right to discuss this and criticize them for it.

Remember, free speech is a lot more than your First Amendment.

Yeah, but (5, Interesting)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967800)

You have to remember this -- there is no guarantee of free speech from any corporation. The US Constitution guarantees that "government" shall not infringe the right to a citizen's free speech. Any time you have a non-governmental agency "it doesn't apply".

Amazon can cut off anyone they wish, so can Google. Google is not obligated to do a damn thing concerning free speech. They can censor anyone they want because they are a corporation, not the government. The law/Constitution isn't going to protect someone from posting in a forum/newsgroup ran by Google. Too bad, that's what you accept when you post in Google's forum/newsgroup; a place owned by essentially a private party.

The only repercussions from something like this (private censorship) is the free market system. Boycott, attention getting, etc. But you can't force them to make them accept your free speech.

Terminology (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967936)

You have to remember this -- there is no guarantee of free speech from any corporation.

That's because everyone perpetually equates "free speech" with "censorship". Censorship CAN be a violation of your right to free speech, but not always- and this case is a perfect example. Others say that censorship cannot be done by a corporation; that's also wrong. Everything you watch on TV is run past network censors. Anything you watch in the movie theater, also (most likely) run past censors.

Youtube's actions are censorship. They are not violation of anyone's "free speech" rights. Nothing stops the gent in question from posting his commentary on his own website, or publishing commentary in any number of forms of other media (for example, printing a booklet or printing a newsletter.) If the government comes knocking on his door and takes his computer and printer and says, "You can't print this, Muslims don't like it", that is a violation of his right to free speech.

Re:Yeah, but (3, Informative)

Redrover5545 (795810) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967946)

Actually, they have a constitutional right not to publish or host content, it's called the right of free press. Google, Amazon and any other companies owned by private individuals have the right to publish or not publish whatever they want and to force them to host or publish a message or a video would actually infringe on their (or more precisely their shareholder's) first amendment rights.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

mlc (16290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967956)

Just because YouTube (or whoever) legally can do something doesn't mean that they should, or that anybody else has to like it when they do.

Re:Yeah, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968002)

Exactamundo. Nobody's really questioning the legality. But these two companies both try to put forward a "we're not evil" image. Unnecessary censorship is evil, so Amazon and Google are being hypocrites.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967972)

Corporations have the right to censor people. And we have the right to tell other people about it, and if we choose, "vote with our money" based on what those corporations do. Ain't free speech grand?

As a practical matter, I don't want any big entity telling me what not to say. I don't want the government doing it, or Google doing it, or a church doing it, or even Slashdot doing it. And in cases of censorship by anyone, it is always appropriate to fight back. If it's the government, you fight back on the basis of legal rights; if it's a private entity, you do it in other ways. But the one thing you should never do is sit back and say, "Go ahead, muzzle me, it's okay."

Re:Yeah, but (1)

professionalfurryele (877225) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968070)

That is all well and good, but hosting large numbers of videos requires considerable capital outlay. This is a barrier to entry into the market which ensures that there wont be sufficient competition.

If all of the newspapers in a country are owned by a small group of people, and they collude, then that is no different from a state newspaper.

At present there are enough competitors to YouTube to ensure this guy can take his content elsewhere. While this remains the case, your arguement holds. However, this kind of business tends to result in monopolies, and as soon as a monopoly exists, that monopoly is vested with a social responsibility.

If YouTube ever becomes a monopoly, then it will be a defacto arm of government, and sensible legislation should be introduced to ensure it cannot pull content in the manner it just has.

Re:Yeah, but (1)

trimbo (127919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968146)

You're right, Google is not the government. But check out the very first line of Google's "About Us" page:

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

What does it mean when censorship is exercised by the company whose declared purpose is to making all information accessible? If private organizations are going to take on lofty goals, they should conform to the ideals of those lofty goals. We have the right to criticize them for that, even though they are not bound to the Constitution.

that could change quickly (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968306)

Businesses open to the public can not arbitrarily restrict people based on certain criteria-race and religion for example. That issue has been fought in the courts and those who maintained that because it was "private property" lost (bus lines, restaurants, hotels, country clubs, etc), because they allowed the general public in and had a government granted license to operate, either a business license and/or/with a corporate charter, either for profit or non profit. and because corporations are not citizens. they have a near person-hood, but they are not protected "citizens', and as such can be regulated a lot more heavily than a single named flesh and blood person can be, at least in theory. The government can't censor your speech, but they sure as heck can restrict what corporations do or can't do, especially as it applies to the civil rights act and some more, enacted under the provisions of the commerce clause in the constitution.

    There's a difference between your private residence and an open to the public business in the court's eyes. And I know because I was involved in trying to change that situation in ye olden days, back when it was still fairly common to have "private" businesses discriminate arbitraily.

    Youtube/google allows the general public in, and they are businesses, even if it is just showing you ads.. It's a pretty fine line to say they can't based on *talking* about race or religion, because those are two of the magic bingo words that (can or may) trigger discrimination charges in a legal sense. Googtoob is saying they won't let such and such a person in based solely on religious commentary-looks to me like a pretty large no-no.

  I think if this was really pushed all the way in the court system that Youtube/Google would lose based on the in-place discrimination laws. Probably be one of those major precedent setting cases. (along with disability access at commercial websites, another issue but one that needs addressing, IMO)

But-who knows really, no predicting the court systems any more.

No rights are being violated here. (1)

kafka93 (243640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967806)

These are corporations, not the government; there is no "right" to free speech that's being infringed upon. Whether these are sensible approaches from the companies is a different question, of course.

So what (3, Informative)

RichPowers (998637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967812)

If YouTube decides that a video is offensive to a segment of its users, then it has every right to remove the video. Expecting free speech protection from a private entitity is a bit absurd. The local mall would throw my ass on the street if I stood inside protesting leather products.

The lesson here? Host your videos somewhere else, provide your own video hosting service, or deal with YouTube's practices.

Re:So what (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968084)

I believe the overarching question is "which company is a better advocate of free speech"?

I think it's important to consider that here we have only two specific examples from many involving either company. Personally, although I don't like the publication Amazon is defending by virtue of defending free speech, I still respect Amazon for doing so. Unless everybody, including me, realizes that freedom of speech is more important than personal opinion, including religious belief, then it's a right we're destined to lose.

Therefore, even in unfortunate circumstance, I have to support Amazon on its decision.

animal fighting mags (2, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967818)

"Amazon hung up on customers wanting to comment on its continuing practice of selling animal-fighting magazines"

i've dealt with animal protection fanatics before, and i know this statement is misleading bullshit. a more accurate picture of the situation would that be one of them would have rung up and abused the service rep over the phone and they had no choice but to hang up on them. manners and due process don't ever occur to people like this who try take the moral high ground. while i am against animal cruelty, i hate groups like PETA in the people who side with them.

Re:animal fighting mags (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967926)

This isn't PETA. This is the Humane Society. Big difference.

Re:animal fighting mags (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968230)

"On Thursday, so many people bombarded Amazon's main number with calls that it added a special message for them in which a smug, anodyne voice offered a terse lecture on free-speech rights before directing them to the company Web site to email complaints or post comments."

it's not the human society making these calls though, as TFA states. it looks like a reasonable response to me. all these self rightous pricks calling would be doing nothing more then abusing service reps, which NOT what they have the right to do. if i was the manager of their call center i'd do the same thing to protect my workers. if you ignore the factless descriptive words in that paragraph thats what you get, a manager preventing his staff being abused just for doing their job. besides, a written complaint is much more effective in these circumstances then talking to some service rep who has no power to do anything for you.

Re:animal fighting mags (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968280)

No difference at all. HSUS is a PETA front. In the US humane societies are local organizations.

This isn't about free speech idiots (4, Informative)

MaverickUW (177871) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967830)

Okay, apparently half the posters don't understand what Freedom of Speech is all about. Google and Amazon are not the government (yet at least). The first amendment protects you from the government taking away your rights, not corporations and individuals. So what if Google removed a video, it's their property that he's posting it on. If they don't like something, they have a right to remove it. To say they don't have this right, would be like saying if someone put up a political sign in your yard of someone from the party you don't support, that you don't have a right to remove it because you're violating someone else's free speech.

As for the Amazon case, sure, you have a right to call and complain. Nothing says that Amazon has to actually listen to you.

In the end, these aren't issues of free speech. These are people getting their panties in a knot because someone wouldn't listen to them.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (2, Insightful)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967968)

So corporations can take away your rights?

The founders flat-out messed up because they had no idea that big business would have the power it has today. They had no idea that the internet would put the ability to curtain free speech in the hand of corporations rather than the government.

Had they known that, I suspect rather strongly that they would have phrased the Bill of Rights differently.

The rights of corporations are secondary to the rights of individuals.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (4, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968116)

Posting videos to a website isn't a "right", it's a freebie offered by a corporation so that they can make revenue by showing ads alongside the video. Saying you have the "right" to post to YouTube is like saying that you have the "right" to get a free toy when you buy Cheerios.

In what way, exactly, is Google taking away somebody's rights? Please, I'd like to know.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968246)

so when you give away something for free it allows you to circumvent anti discrimination laws? don't think so chump.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968296)

So corporations can take away your rights?

Exactly what right is a corporation or person taking away from you when it decides to hang up on your phone call? Surely you do not have a right to force someone else to listen to your speech.

Similarly with Youtube. There isn't anything in the Constitution that guarantees you the right to use somebody else's web site, printing press or megaphone to distribute your viewpoint. Such a concept would in fact infringe on other rights under the Fifth Amendment and the Constitional ban on bills of attainder. You can speak all you want - how you get your message to others is YOUR problem, not someone else's just because they have an jim-dandy established distribution channel that you might want to use to put forth your opinion because it would be a lot more work for you to build your own distribution channel.

The founders certainly DID NOT mean to abrogate property rights when they cast the First Amendment. Just because Youtube is a convenient forum you are not suddenly granted an inalienable right to use it however you want irrespective of the rights of the owners. If you want to get your message out there is no guarantee by anyone that they have to pay out (Youtube like any other web site has to pay for the bandwidth it uses) to give you a free ride for your crackpot theories.

Your concept of corporate power holding back your free speach is also ridiculous. Exactly what is Youtube doing that prevents you from setting up your own web site and publicizing it? Nothing.

They had no idea that the internet would put the ability to curtain free speech

Exactly what does the internet do to curtain(sic) free speach? To me it looks like it does exactly the opposite. $8.95 for a domain name and $10/month for a hosting package and you can spout off in almost unlimited fashion. In fact never before has it been as easy to get out whatever outlandish idea you might have.

Had they known that, I suspect rather strongly that they would have phrased the Bill of Rights differently.

In exactly what way? Even in the days of the Founders channels of distribution like the press were owned by individuals. In fact since such channels were more limited than what we have now it was much harder to get an idea out without significant financial backing.

The rights of corporations are secondary to the rights of individuals.

Poppycock. The two are exaactly the same. Corporations are the private property of individuals. By threating the two differently you are depriving these individuals of their property rights without due legal process as guaranteed by the Constitution. Forcing a corporation by law to carry your video is EXACTLY the same thing as forcing Joe Smith to pay a tax that will give you financial support for your package of wacko ideas. The idea is totally unacceptable and contrary to all basic ideas of life in modern society.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967970)

Oddly, the other half of the posters are saying the exact same thing as you.

It is strange that people express wonder at corporations seeking to be inoffensive in appearance.

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968176)

your analogy is flawed because youtube is NOT a private residence, it's more like a public billboard, and if you run a public service anti discrimination laws apply to you. you are not allowed to discriminate based on religious beliefs in a private or public arena for that matter.

also, with amazon, there are laws protecting customers rights, and one of those rights is to have your complains heard. amazon isn't compelled to make a decision the customer is happy with (within the bounds of the law), but they do HAVE to listen (provided the complaint was rational and not abusive, which i'm sure is wasn't coming from PETA types)

Re:This isn't about free speech idiots (1, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968194)

Okay, apparently half the posters don't understand


Welcome to Slashdot.

Amazon has a right... (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967838)

Amazon has a right to sell that filth if they so choose. I also have the right not to shop there, and to tell everybody I know that they condone this sick shit. I still don't see what this has to do with free speech.

Re:Amazon has a right... (1)

BugDoomBug (965033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968328)

Absolutely, however is that situation they are damned if they do and damned if they don't

Stop selling to magazines and you are preventing them from getting out and censoring them through your channels. Thereby blocking the speech of one group for the comfort of another. Also from the summary, if Amazon is just hanging up on people calling to complain, well guess what, they are wasting business time, and should be hung up on if there is no resolution and they are just tieing up lines.

From the article

"On Thursday, so many people bombarded Amazon's main number with calls that it added a special message for them in which a smug, anodyne voice offered a terse lecture on free-speech rights before directing them to the company Web site to email complaints or post comments."

This, to me says they did it in a response to a organized phone bombardment, basically like putting up a temp holding page when a site is slashdotted or raided.

Not Free Speech Issues (3, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967848)

Come on, this should be a no-brainer. Google, Youtube and Amazon are privately owned, privately administered and privately funded organizations. They are no more obligated to keep the videos of controversial speakers on line, or engage in conversation with people who have animal-rights concerns than anyone is obligated to read this post, or Slashdot is obligated to prevent it from being deleted. There is no contract implied here beyond a social one; said speaker can take his videos to other sites, and people who have a problem with Amazon selling cock-fighting magazines can take their business elsewhere. If Slashdot banned me for whatever reason, I could continue to post on Kuro5, or Digg, or any other equally private site that would let me in.

WTF? A new minor majority (5, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967850)

OK, I think I get the gist of the OP but let me see if I get this straight.

You can make a movie called White Guys can't Jump but you can't make a movie called Black Guys can't swim (fill in swim with whatever).

You can make "logical arguments" against Christianity. You can even make jokes about the religion and it's Members.

But as soon as you breath a word against the Muslims you are silenced.

We have a new minority in America. It's call the muslims. Please, if you are a male white American, add to your list of people not to offend: the Muslims. But remember, anyone can publicly deride the whites, males, christians but never speak ill of the jews, muslims, blacks (oh shit! sorry -- African American), mexicans, or anyone else who didn't have an ancestoral basis in North Western Europe along the paternal lines of the family tree.

It's getting kind of crazy around here with all the people who are demanding both freedom of speech and respect for their own beliefs.

Re:WTF? A new minor majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967982)

I'm not for political correctness but I am against blatant racism. Thanks for proving there's a difference with your perfectly racist post.

Re:WTF? A new minor majority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968202)

His post was not racist. You gave no explanation of why it is ok to deride Christians but not Muslims. By letting this pass, you show clearly that it is you who are the bigot.

Re:WTF? A new minor majority (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968216)

Hartman: I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops, or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless.

Re:WTF? A new minor majority (1)

Krakhan (784021) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968210)

Regarding blacks.. The title "Africa-American" misleading, since you do not have to black in order to be african-american. Similarly, being black does not imply you were from Africa. So it's nonsense either way.

Like the old Irish atheist joke (3, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967878)

So, you're an atheist. Would you be a Protestant or a Catholic atheist then?

The religeon defines a lot of our culture even if we don't believe it. It depends on how this is done - going after extreme loonies doesn't make the entire thing invalid.

Re:Like the old Irish atheist joke (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968038)

A drunken atheist?

*runs and hides*

Re:Like the old Irish atheist joke (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968182)

i'm going to kick your ass for that!

just as soon as I sober up enough to walk

Why is google making this choice? (3, Insightful)

wes33 (698200) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967918)

A lot of people here have noted that free speech does not extend to corporate America. Quite true - no one has a right to speak on youtube. But the interesting question is why does google choose to exercise their corporate prerogative so as to permit anti-Christian argumentation but not anti- Islam argumentation. This does intrigue me. I haven't seen either the anti-Christian or the (now banned) anti-Islam videos. Is there a real difference that would explain why the former is welcome on youtube but the latter is forbidden? There are a great many arguments revealing the fundamental irrationality of both religions. I don't see why google would not welcome both.

Re:Why is google making this choice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968092)

Presumably because of the difference in reactions that invoked by criticising Christianity [wikipedia.org] compared to criticising Islam [wikipedia.org] .

Maybe Amazon was being nice (1, Flamebait)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967930)

Amazon is actually being nice if all they do when someone calls to complain about what they carry is hang up. If it were me, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself, and I'd phrase it just that way.

I object highly to forcing animals to fight for entertainment. I think it should be illegal in all of the US (currently, cock fighting is pefectly legal in at least two states (New Mexico and Mississippi, if I'm not mistaken).

But I find censorship even more objectionable than that. And when a group like the Humane Society tries to force censorhip on a company, it makes me want to go bite the head off a parrot and kick a puppy, as well as go buy the very magazines they are objecting too.

As for Google, that works both ways. While I support free speech, I also support the right of the owners of a computer system to dictate how their computer system is used. If you don't like it that Google dictates what videos you can place on their service, then lease or buy your own damned server.

And its already been pointed out, correctly, that the Second Amendment applies to the government and not corporations, so I won't warm up that dead horse.

Re:Maybe Amazon was being nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968036)

And its already been pointed out, correctly, that the Second Amendment applies to the government and not corporations, so I won't warm up that dead horse.

The second amendment doesn't mention the federal government at all, just a militia, people, arms, and "a free State."

Oh wait, you meant the First Amendment.

It's the Hypocrisy (5, Insightful)

M0b1u5 (569472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967934)

It's not the free speech, it's the hypocrisy. It's OK to bag Christianity, but not Islam? WTF is up with that?

I can tell you: Christianity is used to being harrassed, and Christianity has shown itself to be nothing, if not resilient to this kind of thing. Whereas Islam is extremely poor at handling criticism; you might find yourself dead, burned, having some bizarre rushdie-like death sentence on you, or being chased by a bunch of brainwashed muslims.

So no, you CAN'T make fun of Islam or point out the stupidity of living 14th century dogma in the 21st century.

It's telling too, because a confident religion doesn't care what is said about it. Witness what's been said about Christianity! No, it's only a scared religion which reacts poorly to criticism - and the main reason (I maintain) is because even "devout" Muslims KNOW that what they've been told is a load of stinking horse shit, but it is impossible to speak out against it.

Loud voices openly criticising Islam might start the tide against Islam, and that would result in the modernisation of that religion, and those who currently hold the power in Islam would see their power vanish almost instantly. So this issue continues to be about the power Islam wields over women, and other people. It's certainly got nothing to do with religion per se, in my view.

Re:It's the Hypocrisy (3, Insightful)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968110)

I remember, a week or two after september 11th, me and my father were riding our bikes down the road, and a minivan driver asks us for direction. He was dark skinned, and the first thing he said to us was "Please, I am not an Arab." Can you believe that? The area I live in is fairly culturally and racially diverse, and seems in no way discriminatory, yet this man thought he had to say he was not of a certain race to talk to us safely.

Arabs and Islam have been demonized for ages, and more so now in this "post 9/11 world" than ever, it would seem. Now, think about those political cartoons that Islam was so terribly intolerant of. They showed a religious figure as a terrorist, using his "towel" to hold a bomb. This wasn't just against the religion, this was against a whole group of people, painting a whole religion with one brush. Would a Christian be happy to see a cartoon of Jesus dressed as a klansman? Or maybe Jesus stabbing an Arab child through the heart with a cross? Perhaps some, but the majority would see this as an insult and a totally unfair generalization.

I doubt very much that Islam is somehow less tolerant of insults to it than any religion is. I can certainly say that Muslims in general are pretty fucking pissed at being called terrorists, and their religion being constantly demeaned. Of course, if they complain about it, the western world uses their offence as a mark of a religion intolerant of critique. It is a snowball effect that makes the Iraq War just that much easier for Americans to swallow.

Youtube blocking the video is a step in the wrong direction. They are pretending Muslims are children. The effect will just be more people believing it. And on the other side of the world, the hatred will just make Muslims think of Americans less highly in general.

Terrorist goals (2, Interesting)

Haxx (314221) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967944)


  You relize that this means that the goals of the militant islmists are being met, therfore proving that terrorism works.

not censorship, not the commons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967962)

Hello,

youtube, amazon, google, etc. are not the commons. If he is serious about disseminating a message (as opposed to entertainment, masturbation, or commercial guerilla marketing campaigns, he should get his own webserver and buy some keywords from google, yahoo, etc.

Free speech == B.S. (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17967980)

$subject. It doesn't exits. It is just another "product" of "democracy".

Every society has taboo topics - and existence of "free speech" didn't changed that.

Re:Free speech == B.S. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968324)

Every society has taboo topics - and existence of "free speech" didn't changed that.


"Society" doesn't exist, try again.

Don't Be Evil, Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17967992)

So much for that...bring on the censorship. Maybe they thought this was China...

Laws against discrimination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968026)

Yes, YouTube is a private corporation so you don't have freedom of speech on it. But there are laws against companies discriminating. For example, a company can't refuse to serve black people or Jewish people or of any other racial group. I'm not saying it's the case here, but aren't there the same laws for religions discrimination? So might there be problems if they chose to block religion x but not religion y? (Again, in this case it's not as clear cut, but what about more generally with censorship dealing with religion beliefs?)

YouTube just protecting its employees (1)

toupsie (88295) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968046)

Every corporation has a responsibility to protect its employees. This is all about mitigating risk and lowering their liability. Removing the video had nothing to do with limiting the speech of Nick Gisburne.

What's Wrong with Amazon? (1)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968104)

I don't see the problem with the way amazon is handling free speech. In fact just the opposite, they seem to be standing up for it in this case. If they have started hanging up on people commenting about the matter this may be a PR blunder but it is hardly a free speech deficit. Besides, Amazon sets up these phones for people to call with genuine issues about orders and products not as a place for the public to express it's opinion. Besides, what is likely to cost amazon money would be a humane society boycott and that is all about whether they stop selling the video. It isn't like there is some magical way for them to handle the free speech issue that would avoid pulling the video but avoid risking a boycott.

So sure there is an argument that hanging up was a bad choice for amazon's bottom line but supposing they weren't going to pull the video the case isn't very clear cut.

Personally I'm not willing to criticize amazon at all for hanging up on people calling to complain about what they sell. Companies like private citizens have no obligation to accept phone calls berating their moral choices. I suspect everyone here would hang up on people calling because you were selling things on ebay they found morally objectionable and why should we condemn amazon for doing the same. In fact I'm a little outraged that people feel amazon is doing bad because they don't want to tie up their phone lines with demands that they censor their product lines.

--

As an aside I wish these links had been to more impartial news sources. I couldn't find any documentation about this being why the youtube user had been banned, for all I know he was uploading Britney Spears videos too. Also the site linked about the animal issue was obviously biased and I found it's legal opinions questionable.

For example the argument on the HSUS website about the illegality of the amazon products is that the first amendment does not protect speech that proposes an unlawful transaction. Yet what unlawful transaction is being proposed? These videos, while viscous and likely images of unlawful acts, likely don't say 'Thursday night let's get together and have a dog fight.' Moreover, the supposed analogy with the man they mention is unpersuasive without additional context.

--

Finally I should say that while I certainly disapprove of these kind of animal cruelty videos I reluctantly have to agree that amazon should continue to stock them unless they are themselves illegal or depict illegal acts staged for the purpose of making the video. If they do otherwise why not refuse to sell pornography or books/videos that show how to engage in civil disobedience? I mean many of the civil rights protests were technically illegal but selling videos of them should not be.

The essential test of free speech is whether you stand up for it even when it is distasteful and while amazon is a private entity it is important that we don't end up with effective censorship because all our bookstores and media outlets refuse to carry controversial material.

From their point of view (2, Insightful)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968164)

Okay, say you run YouTube, and you've got some guy ranting anti-Christian bullshit. What's the Christian reaction? 'Hey, you're an ass' Now its anti-Muslim bullshit. What's the general Muslim reaction? 'Hey, you're an ass' Problem is, Islam has more fringe loonies than Christianity, and mocking Christians is less likely to get you killed. In their position, I think a lot of people criticizing the move probably would have chickened out and pulled the guy off, too. It reminds me of some play that was canceled in Germany because one scene had the decapitated heads of Jesus Christ, Buddha, Poseidon, and the prophet Mohammad on chairs, and it was cancelled because everyone was afraid of the Muslim reaction. This has happened before, and it will happen again.

Summary is conflicted? (2, Insightful)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968174)

So wait.. YouTube is bad because it didn't defend free speech, but Amazon is bad because it did and it is Kevin Kelleher's opinion that going up against the Humane Society might be a bad idea?

merchants are whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968178)

The two scenarios (caving in to animal rights activists and caving in to islamists) are analogous. In both cases a group that is willing to fight, and maybe fight dirty, is trying to leverage its clout against a mercantile entity. Ever since we gave up on the idea of an aristocracy and its code of valor, chivalry etc. and settled for the rule of the $$, we are stuck with the fact that shokeepers are no fighters and have no principles, other than making money (Amazon and Google are just large, modern versions of shopkeepers). Learn to live with it or change the system...

Married To Muhammad (And Acting Like It!) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17968214)

While looking at the original video, I came across this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=&mode=related& v=C7_H03Pqg74 [youtube.com]

From the summary:
The first in what will be a series of sitcoms entitled "Married to Muhammad" Where I, Cap'n Awesome, marry the Prophet Muhammad (Jizz be upon him) and all our subsequent adventures. In this episode we have our wedding, our honeymoon, and a short bit of our life afterwards, where Muhammad has to adjust to living with me

Seriously funny, if watching an atheist guy jerk off to a picture of Muhammad is amusing to you, lol.

Before you judge... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968226)

Do you know whether his commentary was appropriate or just a rant?

Re:Before you judge... (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968322)

Either way, one thing can be noticed from all of these free speech issues. When it comes to those with power, they love to be seen as champions of the people and praised for their activities, as long as you don't threaten their business model, their ego, their religion or their masters: All speech is free, but some speech is more free than other speech.

Censored and discriminated (1, Flamebait)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968242)

The average white (caucasian) male American between 15 and 55 is the most discriminated and censored group in the US. Sure, there might be a majority in numbers, but they are being treated as the minority in anything we do making us the oppressed group. And the main culprit seems to be scares of lawsuits because of discrimination (there is a typical law that handles such situations here in the States).

Take jobs for example: the hiring manager (especially in big corporations) sometimes HAS to hire or at least evaluate somebody of the so-called 'minority' (whether that is non-caucasian or female) whether or not they do fill the requirements so they get to present 'non-discriminating' numbers to the government.

And there are so much other examples going from social services to customer service. I am a minority group (I am not American) but I look just like any other American (except for the typical weight) and I sometimes feel that (both in job (hiring) situations and other) that I am not treated as should be and even shunned for selection until I mention that I actually moved to the States a short while ago and that I am an immigrant.

I even got selected for a job once that was totally out of my league and interests (but I needed the money) while initially the recruiter didn't sound very interested, I mentioned that I was immigrated recently and I got a job offer after the first interview. Of course I didn't keep the job (for different reason's including my interest).

You get what you pay for. (1)

Trendy.Ideology (1058410) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968248)

I hate to say it, but;

YouTube is free.

Thusly, no one has a right to really bitch when they do something you don't like. And honestly? As entertaining, or enlightening as religious debate may be, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exDo2SMdB-0 [youtube.com] , there's a time and a place. And if Youtube says not on my time, and not in my space, well, suck it up and deal with it. No one's stopping you from saying it, sharing it, feeling it, thinking it, but they ARE exercising their right to NOT have it on their site. Regardless of similar videos, topics, etc. They don't have to be impartial, or fair. In fact they can be hypocrites of they like. They can leave certain videos up that discuss the subject, while taking others down. That's really their prerogative.

I may not agree with what any given person chooses to do with their freedoms, but I will fight for their right to do so.

There is no "The Human Society" (2, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968268)

In the US human societies are local organizations. HSUS is a front for PETA.

Humane Society, Against Freedom of Speech (2, Funny)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17968300)

I think the Humane Society does itself no favors by ripping apart the 1st, 9th and 14th Amendment in pursuit of its own goals. Maybe it should try convincing people not to sell or buy animal fight magazines, and cease and desist its self-serving attacks against the US Constitution.
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