July 23, 2007

How YouTube Operates

From The YouTube Editor's Blog

Let's take a quick trip to the YouTube Help Center. Oh, look, there are their Policy and Copyright Guidelines. See how prominently they display their help page for handling inappropriate content? Ooh, look, we're all a communityhere; a community with guidelines.

And if you want to learn more about YouTube online, there are many many helpful articles. If you're taking the tour of our site, you may have just seen a quote from one of them, demonstrating how concerned YouTube was (when it was being bought by Google for 1.65 billion-with-a-B dollars and getting it's name in all the papers). Something like:

Julie Supan, senior director of marketing for YouTube, said the company removed videos after they were flagged by users as having inappropriate content and were reviewed by the video service.

In an e-mail message, Ms. Supan said that among the videos removed were those that “display graphic depictions of violence in addition to any war footage (U.S. or other) displayed with intent to shock or disgust, or graphic war footage with implied death (of U.S. troops or otherwise).” - NY Times, Oct. 6, 2006

Sounds good to us. Of course, if you try and get YouTube to act on those quotes, well, good luck. No really, good luck; we wish you all the success in the world. That's what we're about here at Operation YouTube Smackdown, ourselves; trying to smack down those videos YouTube says have no place on their service. Let's take a look at some of those Community Guidelines, looking at those that seem most likely to apply to the kinds of Jihadi videos we're talking about. Emphasis in the selected quotes below is mine:

- Don't post videos showing dangerous or illegal acts, like animal abuse, drug abuse, or bomb making.
- Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it.
- YouTube is not a shock site. Don't post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies and stuff like that. This includes war footage if it's intended to shock or disgust.
- We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we don't permit hate speech which contains slurs or the malicious use of stereotypes intended to attack or demean a particular gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or nationality.

While people are free to flag videos for any reason YouTube offers, the ones we're focusing most on here are the ones that are part of the Internet Jihad that is, in part, hosted by YouTube. If you're interested and what to see how we're going about it, head over to our How To Guide, see what comes next. And thanks.

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