YouTube Yanks Radical Islamist Videos After Lieberman’s Complaint – YouTube Yanks Radical Islamist Videos After Lieberman’s Complaint

Thursday, September 11, 2008

YouTube has heeded the call to stop featuring radical Islamists’ video clips.

“Google’s community guidelines for YouTube will now bar videos that incite violence, in addition to videos that contain hate speech and gratuitous violence,” Sen. Joe Lieberman said in Washington on Thursday.

“YouTube was being used by Islamist terrorist organizations to recruit and train followers via the Internet and to incite terrorist attacks around the world, including right here in the United States, and Google should be commended for recognizing that,” he said. “I expect these stronger community guidelines to decrease the number of videos on YouTube produced by Al Qaeda and affiliated Islamist terrorist organizations.”

Lieberman (I-Conn.), head of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent an open letter in May to Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, which owns YouTube, asking him to yank “videos produced by Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups” off the site.

At the time, Google said it had taken down about 80 clips that featured gratuitous violence and hate speech, but added that “there’s nothing in our guidelines that says something produced by a certain group gets censored.”

The “Community Guidelines” on the video-sharing site, updated Sept. 10 according to the official YouTube blog, now read in part:

“Things like predatory behavior, stalking, threats, harassment, intimidation, invading privacy, revealing other people’s personal information, and inciting others to commit violent acts or to violate the Terms of Use are taken very seriously. Anyone caught doing these things may be permanently banned from YouTube.”

A brief search of YouTube found some radical Islamist preachings, including some from Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader Ayman al Zawahiri, but no violent clips.

However, clips of bombings, beheadings and other violence committed by radical Islamists are readily available elsewhere on the Web.

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