Thursday, September 14, 2006

Testing My Boundaries on "Free Speech"
Soldiers & Marines Killed On Tape

You all know I'm a huge "YouTube" fan. It's reminiscent of when eBay first started (before it was all just stores selling stuff) and you could find anything. Any music video you've ever seen, the news story you just saw 15 minutes ago or your friend's wedding --you can find it all there.

...But now you can also find more nefarious videos. I would never call for Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore or even Ward Churchill to be legally silenced --but the new genre of "snuff videos" on YouTube may test just how far I want free speech to go...

"...The wildly popular video-sharing Web site YouTube.com has dozens of videos purporting to show individual American soldiers being killed in Iraq, in what amounts to snuff films, overlaid with music and insurgent slogans.

Some of the videos, including ones of American soldiers purportedly being picked off by snipers or being blown up by improvised explosive devices, have been viewed tens of thousands of times each in the past few months. Some are posted in YouTube's "news and blogs" category, but others are listed under "entertainment" and even "comedy."

One shows what appears to be three U.S. soldiers in desert fatigues questioning Iraqi men in a street or alley as young boys mingle around. Suddenly, one soldier slumps to the ground, felled by a single bullet, as the children scatter. In another, a U.S. soldier is standing through the top hatch of a Humvee, then slumps over as the sniper strikes.

Their presence on YouTube shows that insurgent propaganda -- including genuine footage -- already available on more obscure Web sites has seeped in the mainstream of American popular culture, said Eben Kaplan, assistant editor of CFR.org, the Web site of the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank headquartered in New York...." (Read the whole story)

I guess the answer is that the government shouldn't have to be involved. YouTube should be monitoring content on their server and voluntarily banning these videos.

You Tube failed to answer requests for an interview/response.

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