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POLL: Should Google Censor Anti-Islam Videos on YouTube?

The question arises after this week's attacks in Egypt and Libya, where a U.S. Ambassador was killed.

Sept. 11 brought another type of tragedy this year: the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three members of his staff, as well as attacks on an American embassy and consulate in Egypt and Libya.

The attacks were in response to a Southern California-made, anti-Islamic video posted on YouTube 

Mountain View-based Google  the offending video from viewers in Egypt and Libya hours after the attacks, and sense then has censored it in India and Indonesia, according to the San Jose Mercury News. On Friday afternoon, the company had refused to remove the video completely

Meanwhile the producer, Cerritos resident Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, has reportedly gone into hiding (For more on Nakoula, see Cerritos-Artesia Patch). 

Our question for you this week: Do YouTube and Google have a responsibility to censor anti-Islamic videos? Did they do the right thing by blocking access in the Middle East? Should they be more proactive in censoring videos in the future?  

Vote in our poll and explain your answers in the comments. What do you think and why? 

Tamara C. September 25, 2012 at 07:10 PM
At least you made it to 1943 in your sweeping generalization of Iran. Did you spring for the 1950-current Britannica set, too? As usual, you leave out OTHER Iranian historical events like the uprisings in 1979 and the current wave of resistance in the Arab Spring that is moving towards democracy for a marginalized people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rutrNbkrhIA http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=10594
Eye B. Tender September 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Now wait just a sec Ms Tamara C. "Researcher and Teacher"..... , You have called me all kinds of nasty names and SLANDERED my simple and straight forward account of TRUE historical facts. Maybe the Taxpayers are willing to keep supplying you with student victims to poison with your endless strings of additional homework. But YOU CURRENTLY OWE THIS FORUM clear and reasonable answers to the ugly, yet sadly true FACTS that I've already listed above. You have lost this debate. If you now want out of your box, then USE YOUR WORDS!!!!
thewhigs September 26, 2012 at 03:29 AM
What happened more than 1/2 century ago is rather irrelevant. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor yet in 2012 are one of the United States best allies. The vast majority of people of the various ME/SE Asian countries of 2012 do not have a problem with the United States rather as mentioned above, the various policies of the U.S. Govt. People see the U.S. Govt. and its various policies/leaders as hypocritical, unfair, biased, etc.
Don Wolf September 26, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I agree, the vast majority of the people in the world admire our freedom, our free enterprise system, our football, our everything except for one big item. And that is our government's policy against justice in the Israel arena. Israel, in 1967, in a surprise attack on its neighbors took part of Syria (including most of their water supply), part of Jordan (the West Bank and Jerusalem), and part of Egypt. They gave Egypt back its land, but not Syria and Jordan, land that was supposed be the nation of Palestine. That injustice is what they all hate!
Eye B. Tender September 26, 2012 at 07:23 AM
Well, it really depends upon what point we chose for our historical “safe starting point”. Mosses’ original conquest of Israel was not exactly a peaceful event in itself. Yet, Israel was a large and powerful nation long before Mohamed was even born. But, then it lost control to Rome. Of course Persia was fighting Greece for political control of much of that area long before even that. Then came the rise of the Ottoman Empire – at one point including what later became Spain. That empire didn’t completely fall apart until 1918 when the Treaty of Versailles cut the area into the forms more recognizable today. But, the Arabs didn’t really have much of a presence in Palestine and Syria until the British-Arab Camel Corp formed the right wing as the “Allies” chased out the Turks. What happened to the large number of Christians in the area was the systematic extermination of the Armenian population by the Ottoman government. During and after World War I came the wholesale killing of able-bodied men through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The word "genocide” itself was coined in order to describe those very events. And folks, talk about censoring history, it remains a DEATH PENALTY offense in modern day Turkey to even speak of such things.
Don Wolf September 26, 2012 at 09:27 AM
The question was why do they hate us. I repeat, the reason is the injustice that we are heaping on the Palistinians. Whether you agree with Israel's right to take the land or not is irrelevant to the answer. The reason they hate us is because of this injustice that most of the world recognizes, including almost every nation in the United Nations. We can go back to the beginning of time and talk about injustices. However, I was not part of that. But now I am part of the current injustice because I am paying for it with my dollars and the precious blood of my countrymen! The billions of dollars we have paid Israel to maintian its occupation, the billions we paid the Egyptian military to stay away from Israel, the billions we have paid Jordan to keep peace with Israel are wasted because it is not working anymore. The Arabs are not happy with their governments having taken blood money from us and are insisting it stop. Peace with justice is the only answer, and justice requires Israel to get out of the West Bank and Syria and to pay the Arabs who have been robbed of their homes, factories and farms.
thewhigs September 26, 2012 at 02:17 PM
As Mr. Wolf has properly stated, lets talk about the CURRENT situation-not something which happened decades/generations ago. Should we learn from previous history? Certainly, but that's a different subject. I don't see most of Mr. Tender's comments all-too-relevant right now. A simple change of U.S. Govt. policies (from "blind" support of Israel, to drone strikes, to supporting rogue and/or corrupt governments) would probably eliminate 90% of the animosity towards the U.S. Govt.
Tamara C. September 26, 2012 at 03:08 PM
here, here. Anyone can create a timeline of "selective" events that shows dissent in government, but it doesn't color a majority or excuse the intolerance that part of the world suffers at the hands of the West. Shall we create an alternative timeline of how the West won its freedoms? "Eye B" certain it's covered in bloodshed. But, the RELEVANT argument is how we move forward. I don't think the answer lies in electing Mitt Romney with no foreign policy experience. But, I digress... The POINT was why muslims feel outraged. An excellent article: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/05/why-muslims-are-still-mad-at-america/
Eye B. Tender September 26, 2012 at 03:36 PM
That's just the issue - AS I CLEARLY NOTED ABOVE it's all about power. FAR MORE BLOOD is on THE ENEMY'S hands than on the USA's Some Americans may be dammed fools who don't understand world history - that's what the Anti Americans are hoping for, but others aren't. So, here it is again: The Arabs didn’t really have much of a presence in Palestine and Syria until the British-Arab Camel Corp formed the right wing as the “Allies” chased out the Turks. What happened to the large number of Christians in the area was the systematic extermination of the Armenian population by the Ottoman government. During and after World War I came the wholesale killing of able-bodied men through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The word "genocide” itself was coined in order to describe those very events. And folks, talk about censoring history, it remains a DEATH PENALTY offense in modern day Turkey to even speak of such things.
Eye B. Tender September 26, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Your Feelings are hurt? After helping to murder all those people in the 20th century. And now threatening to "wipe Israel off the map"? I'm so so sorry.
thewhigs September 26, 2012 at 04:06 PM
...and how many people have died in the Iraq invasion? Your tautological and incessant comments about what happened generations ago (which as mentioned above is only one biased point of view) and your other comments goes to show you really don't have a grasp of the current situation and/or have a very dogmatic/incorrigible view of the current situation. Tamara C's link would be a good start.
Frank Geefay September 26, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The root of all our problems in that part of the world is the US thrust for black gold. There is little else there except plenty of sand and desert. If oil were never discovered there would we have supported Israel to the extent that we do? After all Israel is our strongest ally in that part of the world. Would there have been any need to invade Iraq? Would we be in Afghanistan today? Would Arabs even care about the US? Because of our perceived need to protect oil resources in that part of the world we have been trying to maintain stability in that part of the world the American way: by brute force. Supposed you were born in Iraq and American troop invaded your country and kill your relatives as a result of collateral damage. Wouldn't you feel violated by these American foreigners? That is why they hate the US so much. Without black gold there would have been no 9/11 and wars in the near east for us to fight. Life would have been much simpler and our government far less broke. Many young soldiers would be alive or in one piece today. The price of gas we pay at the pump is only a fraction of the total cost of oil. The rest we pay in taxes to support our military ventures to protect it, the home security now needed to keep us safe in our own country, and the blood and guts our troops have spilled to protect those interests. I fear is that history will show that this money and all these lives sacrificed were in vain like in the Vietnam War.
Watzon McWats September 26, 2012 at 06:17 PM
I haven't and likely won't watch the video, but my general feeling is that censorship is lame - something often desired by week people becuase they can't handle reality or bare the thought of someone else seeing something that they themselves don't like.
Watzon McWats September 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
I'll also point out that censorship is exactly what the terrorists would like to see. Censorship if your wives and daughters faces, censorship of your religion, censorship of your news, censorship of your entertainment. It's a slippery slope - be careful what you ask for.
thewhigs September 26, 2012 at 06:34 PM
"A new study found that because of the many unintended civilian casualties, U.S. drone attacks against terrorist targets in Pakistan have been an effective recruiting tool for extremists, but have not been effective in killing terrorist leaders." http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/09/25/do-drone-attacks-do-more-harm-than-good
AR September 26, 2012 at 06:39 PM
i'm as vehemently ashamed of our disastrous, duplicitous and seemingly evil activities in the middle east as you are, but this is also irrelevant to the subject at hand - should free societies sacrifice hard-won liberties to satisfy the whims of a medieval fringe of a foreign culture? no. as to your geopolitical commentary....israel is not even in the top ten purchasers of US weapons (#1 by far is saudi arabia). egypt receives nearly as much total foreign aid as israel. corruption is not merely a trait of the US...we have many corrupt islamic partner regimes in the middle east. they are as much to blame for our involvement in the region as are israeli and oil interests.
Frank Geefay September 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
My remarks were addressing earlier comments and the source of hatred and violence leading up to the video violence in the Middle East. I did not say how much Israel was being supported by the US compared to other Middle East countries. I only said that if we were not so involved in the Middle East our funding for Israel would likely be far less than now when be badly need allies. That also goes for other Middle Eastern countries as you pointed out. I singled out Israel because it is the subject of much hatred there. Regarding YouTube censoring or not censoring content let us do a hypothetical. What if immediately after 9/11 a YouTube video by Bin Laden was posted praising the terrorist for bringing down the twin towers and making a mockery of fire fighters being killed in the collapsing towers, people jumping out of the towers, and people running away from the collapsing towers. If such a video incited general violence and the killing of Muslims and others ethnic minorities in America would you still support Bin Laden's right to free expression on YouTube? I feel that if a video is inciting the taking of human lives that serious consideration must be given to taking it down. Freedom of expression is not absolute. Even in America child pornography is forbidden. In this case I am referring to a non-government entity, YouTube's, right to censor itself.
Allen King September 26, 2012 at 11:51 PM
I think all TV channels, Internet sites, news papers and all other types of media should be shutdown or censored because they all, from time to time, publish something that offends at least some people. Censorship is real american and in line with what our forefathers envisioned when they signed off the first amendment.
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Today? Dude! It remains a DEATH PENALTY offense in modern day Turkey to even know the dirty little details of recent world history. Today? They're carrying out their death threats RIGHT NOW - all over that part of the world - to people who don't agree with them. We've just had our Ambassador murdered by those slimy terrorist MFers. But, the USA is the bad guy? We private American citizens ought to mind our mouths? Show respect and consideration for their poor poor “aspirations of freedom”? Let them wipe Israel off the map? No wonder “certain posters” think Oh Bummer is a great President. The Anti-American in chief is on their side.
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Today? There would be a Christian majority over much of that "Muslim" region TODAY had there not been the wholesale killing of able-bodied Christian men through massacre and forced labor, and the deportation of women, children, the elderly and infirm on death marches to the Syrian Desert. The total number of people killed has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million. The word "genocide” itself was coined in order to describe those very events. Today? It remains a DEATH PENALTY offense to even speak of such things.
thewhigs September 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Looks like some wants to incessantly ramble on w/out going into a good debate about the situation. Time to avoid...
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 07:17 PM
thewhigs, Hmmm… avoid me if you must, but I don’t think I’m being a tautologist when the “posters in question” have refused to respond to the charges being made. They’ve just been calling me names and then going on with their repetitive arguments based upon the popular yet specious claim that the entire region is “Muslim Land” and that therefore Israel and their American Allies are trespassing. That is why I expanded upon my “history lesson”. I noted that there would be a substantial NATIVE BORN Christian Majority already holding power in many of those areas had their fathers and grandfathers not been SAVEGLY MURDERED – approximately 1 to 1.5 million customers served - by the Muslim Extremists during the early part of the 20th Century. Y'all gotta live with whatcha've done already. The only way out of that is to stop telling each other that you've been right all along.
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 07:28 PM
"Tamara C's link would be a good start." If so, Tamara C should summarize that essential research and then present it to this Forum in her own words.
Tamara C. September 27, 2012 at 07:30 PM
NATIVE BORN Christian Majority. Now, there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one. Talk about needing a history lesson. There is not a rebuttal sufficient for that kind of ignorance and it's not our job on the board to take you back to school or save your small business or negate every stupid thing you say. Get.a.life.
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 07:45 PM
In general I agree - no need to paw through the NY Times to validate my observations. The "world champion" U.S. Military should never be tasked to go after individuals. Our military should only be used to effectively project our nation's genuine POWER. For Example, we should have never deposed any leader or gone into any of those cities in response to 9/11. Leave the local crackpots to their own people. Instead, we should have blatantly stolen a big patch of their oil property, fortified it against attack and then pumped it dry - directly into the U.S. Treasury. At that point, we should have rudely grabbed the microphone at the U.N. and announced that this is how we're going to respond to all future terrorism. Trust me, our "message" would have been received - the "war" won.
Eye B. Tender September 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM
thewhigs: "which as mentioned above is only one biased point of view". The U.S Ambassador and American charitable relief organizations were on the scene at the time trying to stop them. They personally witnessed much of this and reported the dirty details back to the U.S. Government. The Turk’s Kurdish thugs loved to tie dozens of people together and then throw them into the bitter waters of Lake Van – under the shadow of Mt. Arafat. (American News fans may remember the Kurds as the "good guys" in Iraq.) But, many of their potential victims broke out of their cattle cars, somehow armed themselves and fought back. Some survived to tell their stories. There is a famous picture depicting four generations of Armenian women who were all murdered during this “biased point of view”.
AR September 27, 2012 at 08:28 PM
bin laden published extensive diatribes after numerous acts of terror even prior to 9/11. these were available to american citizens to read at their discretion. bin laden published numerous videos which were likewise available for viewing by americans through numerous venues, including network tv. your argument still does not hold water. you hold that all that is required to restrict speech is someone somewhere blaming that speech for their own actions. you seem to hold the same contempt for free speech that regimes like saudi arabia hold...i can't even imagine what WOULD be permitted in a world bound by your arbitrary rules. all that would be required is someone report a threat of violence to the speech police and *poof*, its censored. in the soviet era they called these "denunciations", and they were typically used as an excuse to send someone to a camp. don't like sergey next door? just say he's a capitalist running dog. bye sergey.
Eye B. Tender September 28, 2012 at 12:55 AM
NATIVE BORN Christian Majority? Easy enough to understand: had they not been MURDERED, their tens of millions of grandchildren would still be around to stick up for themselves. That would have certainly given them a majority in at least some places. Heck, if your murderous retard heroes had given them some food and water as they marched them out into the desert, they might have eventually built a new Palm Springs near there. Just think of the potential Tax Base to buy guns and rockets for your poor poor "victims" in Gaza!
Frank Geefay September 28, 2012 at 01:20 AM
AR, you again fail to understand what I am saying so I will try one more time. If a video is the Cause of much bloodshed and mob violence (this means that such violent and deadly events have already occurred as a result of the video) then Google/YouTube should give serious consideration to taking the video off their own website to prevent further loss of life. This action is as a result of violence to prevent further violence, not in anticipation of violence that has not yet occurred. Had the Taliban put a video on YouTube showing a very graphic video of our troops being literally blown to pieces and them urinating on the dead bodies while praising the bravery of their terrorist which enraged the American public resulting in riots and the killing of Arab looking people, are you suggesting that you would still protect the Taliban’s right to free expression by keeping the video on line?
thewhigs December 27, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Do you have proof on that or do you regularly come up with unintellectual pablum?

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