Thursday, November 29, 2007

don't be evil

Google is almost certainly a net positive in my life. And their history shows a number of ways in which they try to live up to their ambitious motto.

But this is pretty damned disturbing:

Egyptian anti-torture blogger says YouTube shut his account.

Wael Abbas is an award-winning blogger in Egypt whose work documenting human rights violations through online video has been blogged here on BB before.

Wael claims that his YouTube account, with which he has posted more than a hundred videos of alleged police abuse, has been terminated over complains the clips contain "inappropriate material."

Abbas said YouTube sent him an e-mail saying they had suspended his account. "They didn't ask me to remove it. They said 'Your account isn't working,' " he said. When asked about Abbas, a YouTube spokesperson said, "We take these matters very seriously, but we don't comment on individual videos."

YouTube regulations state that "graphic or gratuitous violence" is not allowed and violations of the Terms of Use could result in the ending of an account and deleting all of the videos in it.

Documentation of actual police brutality is "gratuitous?" Then I assume YouTube will be pulling these down immediately.

Update, 12/2: Google feels the heat, undoes a portion of its evil.


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