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AT&T proves Net Neutrality fears well founded

LinearBob (258695) writes | more than 7 years ago

Censorship 0

LinearBob writes "The Chicago Tribune has an article describing in detail how AT&T censored a live concert by Pearl Jam. Here is a link to the Chicago Tribune article.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-th u_jam_0809aug09,1,6237615.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

The following was quoted from the Tribune article:

"A live Internet broadcast of Pearl Jam's performance at Chicago's Lollapalooza music festival Sunday went off without a hitch — until singer Eddie Vedder criticized President Bush.

Lyrics critical of the president didn't make it past editors of the show's Webcast, the band complained Wednesday on its Web site.

The performance, sponsored by AT&T Inc. and carried on AT&T's "Blue Room" site, omitted the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush, find yourself another home" as part of a version of the song "Daughter," according to the Pearl Jam Web site.

An AT&T spokeswoman confirmed the omission Wednesday, saying that it had been a mistake made by someone working for the agency hired by AT&T to handle its Blue Room content.

"We don't have a policy in place to censor," said AT&T's Tiffany Nels. "We have a policy on excessive profanity. This was an honest mistake. There was no censorship intended."

Nels said that there is a delay of a few seconds between the performance and its streaming to the Web so that an editor can cut out profane language because the Web site is available to all ages and AT&T doesn't want foul language going out.

End quote

Perhaps there was no censorship intended, but censorship IS what AT&T did here. I find AT&T's explanation for the missing lyrics to be disingenuous at best. To me, this is a clear case of censorship, and is precisely why we need "Net Neutrality" now."

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