October 17, 2006
You Tube Jihad Continues, Part of a Larger Problem
An editorial about the YouTube jihad. Interestingly enough, The Jawa Report was also once banned by Google News for alleged 'hate speech'. But, we kissed and made up and now we're a Google News source again.
Now we and other right-of-center Youtubers are being targetted by the same thin-skinned cyber-jihadis who believe that the best way to insulate political Islam from criticism is to shut people up.
As a long-time student of bureaucracy it is my inclination to believe that our original ban from Google News, the deeming of several of our spinoff websites by Blogger as "offensive" (Blogger is owned byGoogle) and the recent banning of several videos by Jawa contributors (The All Seeing Pirate Spielberg, Vinnie B. Demille, & the Dread Pundit Lucas) are rooted in the organizational routines of Google and YouTube.
These organizations allow users to decide what is offensive and what is not. Experience has shown that Muslims, as a group, have a much lower threshold for what is considered offensive and what is not. So, any news source, blog, or video that is even mildly critical of Islam is flagged as inappropriate.
To what extent this is an organized effort is unclear. Since The Jawa Report was once the victim of an orchestrated cyber-attack by Islamists in Turkey who found some of our more over-the-top satire unacceptable, it is not hard for us to believe that there is something more going on here.
Google and YouTube's sin is either that they follow the path of least resistance or of politically correct bias. It is possible that Google and YouTube simply ban anything because they just don't have the manpower to actually check the content of news sources, blogs, or videos. Thus, giving in to the online jihadis is just a matter of resource scarcity or of the lazy. I'm also a student of Office Space, so imagining workers at a corporation being lazy is not difficult.
A more cynical way to look at this is that they actually check the content of what is being complained about and they agree with the online jihadis: anything critical of Islam is offensive. That's also not too big of a stretch. Google's corporate offices are in the San Francisco Bay area. When you give hippies censorship power this is about what you'd expect to find.
Previously, the Islamists' Internet jihad had targeted blogs compiled on Google News. After a few complaints, Google would inform bloggers that their site was considered offensive and wouldn't be listed on a search. The same thing has now carried over to YouTube. And guess who just bought YouTube? Google.Michelle Malkin has more, including news about the conservative YouTube group she helped organize.
The war on terror is not just being fought on battlefields or within intelligence agencies. With the Internet, terrorists are able to attack us by cowing nervous Web site owners into submitting to their demands. When they can't scare Internet operators, they simply try to hack into a site and shut it down. As Mrs. Malkin rightly notes, in the case of YouTube, "instead of boycotting the site, we need to stay and fight." She has urged her readers to keep posting anti-Islamist videos to combat the terrorists' cyber-jihad.
Civil-liberties advocates are constantly warning about the dangers of censorship enacted by the government. What they have just as constantly overlooked is the very real danger of censorship enacted by private businesses fearful of Islamist rage. The only way to fight this assault on our freedoms is by not giving in as YouTube has.