The decision by YouTube to remove a contentious video recently underscores the difficulties encountered by internet businesses in content moderation while respecting public accountability. We explore what this occurrence teaches us about online censorship in this piece and why it’s important for all of us. So grab a seat, and let’s start a crucial discussion!
People may now more easily acquire information and express their ideas to the globe thanks to the digital age. While online companies attempt to strike a balance between the need to maintain a safe and courteous environment and the freedom of expression, this newly acquired power has raised questions about censorship.\
YouTube has been at the centre of a debate over the past several weeks on how it handles videos with homophobic and racist material. The most recent step in this subject is YouTube’s takedown of a video that was critical of the way the platform handled such videos: https://youtu.be/wjfbgncql4.
This action by YouTube is merely the most recent illustration of the platform’s censoring of opposing viewpoints. Additionally, mainstream media organisations have also had their videos banned or demonetized for speaking out against YouTube’s practises. It’s not just YouTubers who are being censored.
Public responsibility and online censorship are the two key concerns at stake in this situation. YouTube is not the only website that restricts content online. Facebook and Twitter have both come under fire for limiting users’ freedom of speech and imposing user censorship.
Informational Background on YouTube and Censorship
YouTube has emerged as the preferred medium for user-generated content since its launch in 2005. YouTube is one of the most well-known websites in the world, with over a billion users. YouTube has both a good and fun side to its content, but it also has a bad side. YouTube has been under fire recently for removing channels and videos that criticise the government or that contain delicate political and social criticism.
A video from the Iranian television network Press TV was taken down by YouTube in August 2018. In the video, an eyewitness to a chemical attack in Syria was interviewed. Several viewers perceived the removal of the video as censorship because Press TV is a state-owned media channel.
These are only two of the numerous instances of YouTube censoring. There are countless such instances of channels and movies being deleted for political reasons. This kind of censorship is troubling because it demonstrates that YouTube is not a place where all viewpoints are welcome to be heard. When a company like YouTube bans particular points of view, it suppresses dissent and only allows for the presentation of one side of an argument. Online freedom of speech and free exchange of ideas may be hampered by this kind of control.
Why Did YouTube Remove the Video at https://youtu.be/wjfbgncqlv4?
As soon as YouTube took down the video, rumours concerning its removal began to circulate. One widely held belief was that Chinese government pressure led to the removal. The original film had images of Chinese police beating Tibetan monks, which gave rise to this notion. YouTube has a sizable following in China, so it’s plausible that the business didn’t want to risk losing access to it by upsetting the Chinese authorities.
The question of censoring comes first. When a significant platform like YouTube takes down content, it effectively mutes voices and restricts freedom of expression. This is especially troubling when platforms remove content at the request of strong organisations or governments.
While there may be instances where it’s necessary to remove content in order to abide by laws or avoid legal consequences, we must be extremely cautious about granting businesses and governments an excessive amount of control over internet expression.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Removing the Video
When YouTube took down the well-known film “Innocence of Muslims,” it triggered a contentious discussion about internet censorship and civic duty. On the one hand, some contend that YouTube was correct to take down the video because it broke the site’s terms of service and might have incited violence. On the other hand, some contend that removing the video constitutes censorship and that YouTube shouldn’t be in the business of doing so.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of eliminating the video, then? Let’s look more closely:
The video might be taken down to help stop violence.
It makes it clear that YouTube does not support hate speech or calls for violence.
The removal of damaging content sets an example for other social media platforms to follow.
It guards against exposing users to unpleasant and potentially upsetting content.
It demonstrates that YouTube is prepared to respond if proof of a breach of its terms of service is provided.
Some users might consider the removal of the video to constitute censorship.
The so-called “Streisand effect” can result in more people looking up the video out of curiosity.
It might serve as a model for future removals of videos that are motivated by political pressure as opposed to breaking terms of service.
Effect of Online Censorship Possibility
We are given a look into the potential effects of online censorship with the recent removal of https://youtu.be/wjfbgncqlv4 from YouTube. The removal of this video, which showed two males in a relationship, makes it abundantly clear that YouTube does not support this kind of material.
This restriction will undoubtedly have an impact on the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. One of the few places where many queer individuals may find representation and see themselves mirrored back is on YouTube. It feels like another erasure of LGBT people from the public realm that this video has been taken down.
This incident also emphasises the influence that big businesses have on our online life. Despite being a private company, YouTube has grown to play a significant part in many people’s lives. As a result, it owes it to its users to make sure that their opinions are heard and that their rights are upheld.
The following are some other videos that YouTube has removed:
Public’s Responsibility in Internet Content Regulation
The public is essential to the control of online information. YouTube’s decision to take down https://youtu.be/wjfbgncqlv4 conveyed a clear statement that the website does not support hate speech. This is an improvement in the fight against internet censorship and the encouragement of responsible discourse.
Although YouTube has taken a strong stand against hate speech, more regulation has to be implemented. For instance, YouTube has a tonne of videos with potentially damaging or false content. The public must report these films in order for them to be taken down.
By rating and commenting on videos, members of the public can contribute to the regulation of online material in addition to reporting videos. Users can ensure that only high-quality content is presented on YouTube by providing feedback.
In general, citizen participation in internet content regulation is crucial. We can make the internet a safer and more respectful place for everyone if we all take responsibility for what we read, watch, and post online.
Alternatives to Content Censorship
One example of online censorship is the removal of the well-known YouTube video “How to get an Abortion” in reaction to public uproar. Others may respond that this kind of censorship merely serves to suppress vital dialogues and denies people access to information they have a right to know, despite others who may claim that it is necessary to protect public sensibilities.
What are some alternatives to content censorship, then? Offering age-appropriate filters that let users select what they want and do not want to see is one solution. Another is to clearly state in the labelling of content that it might not be appropriate for all audiences when it is contentious. Finally, rather than completely excluding potentially offending content from consumers, platforms might provide users the option to view it.
Each platform or website must ultimately determine which strategy works best for them. Whatever they choose to go, it is crucial that they are open and honest about their policies and justifications for restricting particular information. Then we can make sure that our online places are actually free and accessible to everyone.
In the end, the YouTube video at https://youtu.be/wjfbgncqlv4 was taken down. from the platform raises several issues regarding online censorship and civic duty. It is obvious that social media businesses cannot just ignore the information they host and must instead work to create a climate that values both free speech and security.
Nonetheless, users must use discretion while sharing information online to make sure it doesn’t propagate false information or incite intolerance, which could potentially injure or insult other people. Individuals must learn to strike a balance between these two concepts—freedom of expression and accountability for one’s words—in order to have more thoughtful digital interactions with one another and avoid being the subject of hurtful speech.