The Obama Administration Pressures YouTube to Remove Video

This is what contempt for the First Amendment looks like:

Obama administration officials said Thursday that they have asked YouTube to review the video [that reportedly set off the embassy attacks] and determine whether it violates the site's terms of service, according to people close to the situation but not authorized to comment.

The primary reason to be appalled: The government has no business pressuring a website to take down this video.

A secondary reason: They're probably barking up the wrong tree anyway. There's a strong possibility that the video was just a pretext for the attacks, much as it pains the administration to admit it.

A tertiary reason: Remember how tech-savvy this White House was supposed to be? And now they think they can choke this off at the source?

Elsewhere in Reason: Joe Lieberman tried to do something similar to WikiLeaks.

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  • Caleb Turberville||

    I guess it's an election year.

  • Zeb||

    As I remarked on another thread, I am sure that there are loads of other videos and whatnot that are quite offensive to Muslims that never spark violent protests. Someone or some people are using this as a pretext for violence, I have no doubt. I'm sure some of the rioters are acting out of a pure, infantile rage about the film, but no way this is all spontaneous.

  • John||

    I just finished a book that argues pretty persuasively that Muhammad never existed. There are tons of things that are "offensive" to Muslims out there.

  • Pro Libertate||

    That seems unlikely. Something sure happened.

  • Calidissident||

    Just like those books that argue "pretty persuasively" that Jesus never existed?

  • sasob||

    From what I've read and was taught by a schoolteacher long ago, there is no record of Jesus' existence that is contemporary with him - only the Scriptures - and they were written some time afterwards. In fact, there was a 1972 novel and later a tv miniseries partly based on that proposition. It was written by Irving Wallace and titled The Word. The miniseries sucked, but the novel was pretty good.

  • Loki||

    It's more likely he did exist, but he was a barbaric warlord who realized religion was a great pretext to attract and unify followers.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Not to mention subject them to his rule for fear of death.

  • ||

    I'm sure some of the rioters are acting out of a pure, infantile rage about the film

    According to the stats of the Youtube video before the attacks there were more protestors in Egypt and Libya then there were views of the actual videos.

    If there was a widespread multinational outrage to the film don't you think a little more then a thousand people would have seen the video?

  • hotsy totsy||

    Uhmmm, yeah. Unless 2000 or so people viewed the video from one laptop at the village strongman's house.

  • db||

    And now we get to the *real* reason that it is illegal to violate the terms of use of a website.

  • Lyle||

    Sympathy for the attackers. Sympathy for the attackers. Otherwise why would Obama being interested in muzzling YouTube?

  • Jesse Walker||

    Because he (or whoever ordered this) thinks it will calm the crowds. Doesn't require any sympathy, just a dubious grasp on what's happening and the appropriate response to it.

  • Lyle||

    I know, I know... no real sympathy for the attackers, but it nicely fits into Romney's criticism of the administration's varied response to all of this.

    I apologize if I've been hard on you these last few days (hell, you probably haven't even noticed). I definitely agree with you on this issue.

    Bush didn't really stand up for newspapers publishing Mohammad cartoons. Romney might would pressure YouTube as well.

  • sasob||

    Obama and his administration seem to have a "dubious grasp" concerning a great many things. Whether it is sympathy or a desire to calm the "crowds", it won't be taken that way by either the crowds here at home or the ones overseas. It will be interpreted as weakness and fear.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Reminds me of "anti-bully" advice given out in schools, e.g. Ask the bully "Why do you want to hurt me?". After Columbine this stuff from psychologists was all the rage.

  • ||

    Yeah, I remember that nonsense pretty well. So-called psychologists of that school should be beaten about the head with a copy of "The Scorpion and the Frog" until they reach a better understanding of human/animal nature.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Otherwise why would Obama being interested in muzzling YouTube?"

    Because he has no idea what to do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Nah.

    He's just following his natural tendencies, and censoring speech he doesn't like is just that.

  • jdgalt||

    Because he doesn't have the balls to have any business being President?

  • Restoras||

    Anyone now when the video in question was actually posted? Was it a week ago? Six months?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    July 2

  • Loki||

    So 2 months ago? I guess they just now got the memo that they're supposed to be outraged.

  • ||

    Click on the stats button of the video on Youtube.

    Less then couple thousand people even saw the video until Sept 12th the day after the attacks.

    It is all bullshit propaganda by the attackers and team Obama is licking it up.

  • CampingInYourPark||

  • Brendan||

    THIS is why they're going nuts? Very touchy, that faction.

  • sasob||

    Probably because all they have is their "dignity" and pride - though for the life of me I don't see what such miserable atavists have to be proud of.

  • Proprietist||

    I guess I'm wondering whether the Obama Administration asking Youtube to review the video or the General from the JCoS asking Terry Jones to stop the publication of the movie is really a violation of the First Amendment? Asking is not telling, although I do understand that they are expecting their bully pulpit to give them influence in the decision.

    It's a fine line, but it's also different from sending the SWAT team into the YouTube server room and executing with extreme prejudice.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I do Medicare regulatory work. They ask once.

  • GILMORE||

    Like Joe Piscopo in Johnny Dangerously

    "....Once!"

  • Randian||

    Even the vaguest of rumblings is a bridge too far.

  • R C Dean||

    A technical violation of the 1A? No.

    A completely illegitimate intrusion by government agents on the marketplace of ideas that should be repugnant to anyone who cares about freedom? Yes.

  • Loki||

    Obama administration officials said Thursday that they have asked YouTube to review the video [that reportedly set off the embassy attacks] and determine whether it violates the site's terms of service

    Doesn't youtube do that anyway? I suppose it would be too much to ask for youtube to tell the administration to go pound sand and shove their censorship up their ass.

  • db||

    As I pointed out earlier, the real reason they wanted to make it a federal crime to violate the terms of service of a private web site is so people can be prosecuted for shit like this. Just another power play.

  • Schlom||

    Isn't it fairly clear what the solution is here? The problem isn't with the people making the "inflammatory" videos, it's with the people viewing them. So it seems obvious that what we need to do is ensure that Muslims can't see the videos. All we need to do is bomb power plants, cell phone towers, television relay stations, and phone exchanges in the Middle East. That way those that get offended won't see anything offenses. And barely anyone will get killed.

  • jdgalt||

    Youtube has blocked the video from being downloadable. Are there any sites out there that will allow it to be saved?

  • blubi||

    Yotube censors stuff all the time, not sure why but most likely based on the number of complaints.

    Thing is, some of them are censored even if they are the unadulterated truth (ie plain video). Nothing particulary shocking or violent, but censored, I can only gather, because the perpetrators were of a particular race.

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