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Malkin vs. YouTube

Michelle Malkin takes aim at YouTube alleging they are censoring consrvative, "anti-jihadi" perspectives. How is she broadcasting her claim? Why with a video on YouTube. of course.

plunge (mail):
Malkin is like the pundit version of the personal injury lawyer stereotype that chases ambulances around and files frivolous lawsuits left and right. Perpetually ridiculous.
10.6.2006 11:48pm
Constantin:
Doesn't it look like YouTube, in fact, is removing such perspectives from its site? YouTube is entitled to do just that, of course. But it's operators should have the guts to cop to it.
10.7.2006 12:49am
Constantin:
Doesn't it look like YouTube, in fact, is removing such perspectives from its site? YouTube is entitled to do just that, of course. But it's its operators should have the guts to cop to it.
10.7.2006 12:50am
fishbane (mail):
I find it amusing that she claims that she is persecuted by a private company that she deems stooges for

members of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage.

Now, does that description remind you of anyone?
10.7.2006 2:50am
Master Shake:
Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
10.7.2006 4:57am
noahpraetorius (mail):
I see that Google is offering big bucks for YouTube. The YouTube management should fit right in at Google, with their gooey faux environmentalism and progressive transnationalism (for a buck mind you).

Yep Malkin is a pathetic whiner at times but is usually right about MSM omissions, commissions, and emissions!
10.7.2006 7:11am
Daryl Herbert (www):
Malkin's site HotAir.com hosts its own videos. She could have just as easily hosted it there (and that was probably Plan B if YouTube pulled her message).

She's got a beef with YouTube, so she brings it up on YouTube. I don't see anything wrong or hypocritical with that. YouTube advertises itself as being about expression and free speech.

Not every disagreement has to result in running home, crying, and building your own tree fort.

And let's not jump to conclusions. For all we know, YouTube wasn't going out of its way to shut down anti-Jihad posts, but a bunch of extremists were exploiting YouTube's algorithms.

For instance, YouTube might have had videos automatically shut down if enough people complained, as a defense against bad videos. That would save effort on the part of YouTube employees. Army of Davids and whatnot. But then the Muslim extremists figured out how to exploit that to shut down speech they didn't like. Or something like that. We'll see.
10.7.2006 8:45am
Gary McGath (www):
"Army of Davids" is somehow the wrong expression in this case...
10.7.2006 1:01pm
Ken Arromdee:
She's got a beef with YouTube, so she brings it up on YouTube. I don't see anything wrong or hypocritical with that.

I believe the point of the Times blog is not hypocrisy, but rather that the fact that Youtube accepts the video disproves the video's thesis.

Of course, that isn't true either. It's possible that
-- Youtube just hasn't gotten around to censoring this particular video yet
-- Youtube deliberately didn't censor this particular video to avoid outrage about censoring the censorship complaint, despite not changing its general policy
-- Youtube censors based on some arbitrary algorithm that disproportionately affects videos criticising terrorism, but is not perfect enough to catch every one, and didn't catch this video
10.7.2006 1:08pm
Mr L:
I believe the point of the Times blog is not hypocrisy, but rather that the fact that Youtube accepts the video disproves the video's thesis.

Er, no it doesn't -- and the video still might be banned.

A bunch of liberal bloggers and their readers were identifying political videos they disagreed with and getting them removed by mass-flagging. I'm really astounded that people are attacking Malkin for bitching about this; what these would-be censors did was spectacularly lame, and YouTube should have known better. This flagging problem's well-known and has happened many times before on dozens of sites.
10.7.2006 3:05pm
Jeremy T:
Malkin is absolutely right. I agree with Mr. L; it's odd that anybody's attacking Malkin for this.

Posting a video critical of YouTube on YouTube is ironic and smart, not hypocritical.
10.7.2006 3:12pm
Fub:
There really aren't enough clear facts to say why YouTube yanked her videos. But it is not unreasonable to conjecture that YouTube acted according to some weak kneed algorithmic policy, as distinct from thorough review of the material and the complaint(s).

This would be not unlike widespread practice among providers of public access posting facilities.

For example, there has been a spate of ISPs yanking the files of paying customers based on bogus DMCA subpoenas and complaints of copyright infringement. And we all know of at least one religious organization, whose name I'll not mention, that makes filing lawsuits for copyright infringement a sacrament.

One systemic weakness inherent in providing any public posting service is the provider's potential need for an army of lawyers to deal with complaints generated by some army of David's evil twins.

Even Volokh Conspiracy's proprietors occasionally have to take a break from sipping you-know-who's blended puppy smoothies and leave their sekrit hideout to spend precious time removing spammentary material that slips into these comment threads. Imagine the personnel required at YouTube to deal with what could be fairly characterized as as a DOS attack by jihadi complaint spammers.

That's why I would attribute the incident to human error or simple minded algorithmic policy in the face of jihadi spammed complaints rather than to bad intentions on the part of YouTube -- at least without some good evidence to the contrary.
10.7.2006 3:13pm
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
The hypocrisy in Malkin's video is that she is complaining her videos get flagged and removed from YouTube, but her subsequent video suggests her supporters flag and ban videos with which she disagrees. As I suspected, it turns out Malkin supports HER speech, not FREE speech

The most ridiculous hypocrisy in Malkin's video is that she claims to champion free speech, but disables the ability of people to post comments on her video. She has a right to control what people put on her page, but YouTube doesn't?

She had a point, but her hypocrisy ruined it
10.7.2006 7:16pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Fub is right, although I'm not sure it's an algorithmic policy as opposed to a simple "X number of complaints and you're out" policy. Craigslist apparently follows that sort of policy, and it has resulted in increasing reports of advertising being removed after what appear to be illegitimate complaints by competitors (complaints are anonymous and require no specification of reasons, just clicking a complaint tag).

This practice endangers the usefulness of these services, because it results in a tit-for-tat war on any politically/socially charged topics or financial benefit issues that can result in nothing remaining.

Nick
10.7.2006 7:17pm
Ken Arromdee:
Er, no it doesn't

Of course it doesn't prove that no censorship exists.

But it seems to me that that was what the New York Times blog was trying to claim. It wouldn't be the first time the Times had claimed something illogical.
10.8.2006 2:43am
Alan K. Henderson (mail) (www):
Malkin's complaint began when YouTube informed her that her "First, they came" video was inappropriate - and refused to tell her why it reached that conclusion. YouTube can publish whatever it wants, but it has an obligation to inform potential customers of its publishing guidelines.

It is also obligated to apply those standards fairly. Suspicion is that Malkin's video was flagged due to its criticism of Islam. Riding Sun found on YouTube three "viciously anti-Israel propaganda videos," two of which YouTube has since removed, one probably due to copyright violations and one "raising the possibility that hordes of LGF's 'lizardoid minions' flagged it as offensive."

Riding Sun sees YouTube's publication of offensive videos as a public service:

I want these videos to be widely available, so people can see just how deranged and hate-filled Israel's opponents can be. A tit-for-tat censorship battle only leaves all of us less informed.
10.8.2006 6:00am
Ken Arromdee:
She has a right to control what people put on her page, but YouTube doesn't?

Malkin is complaining that Youtube deleted the video on a completely inconsistent basis--having policies and then selectively following them or not following them at all. There is no hypocrisy, because if Malkin turns comments off, she has made it clear exactly what is not being allowed on her page (in this case all comments). It wouldn't be hypocrisy unless she claimed to allow comments on her page based on some policy but then started removing them for undefined reasons.
10.8.2006 7:49pm