YouTube Resists Lieberman Call for Video Removal

At the request of Sen. Joeseph Lieberman, I-Conn., YouTube has removed some—but not most—of the videos posted to its site that are connected to Islamic terrorist organizations.

May 19, Lieberman wrote YouTube parent company Google about videos, from several Islamic terrorist organizations, that he said violated YouTube’s community guidelines because they contained depictions of gratuitous violence, advocated violence, or contained hate speech.

Lieberman wrote that YouTube “unwittingly permits Islamist terrorist groups to maintain an active, pervasive, and amplified voice, despite military setbacks or successful operations by the law enforcement and intelligence communities.”

YouTube said it examined and ended up removing a number of videos from the site. But most of the videos, which did not contain violent or hate speech content, were not removed because they do not violate the community guidelines, YouTube said in a statement.

“Senator Lieberman stated his belief ... that all videos mentioning or featuring these groups should be removed from YouTube—even legal nonviolent or non-hate speech videos,” YouTube said. “While we respect and understand his views, YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view.”

YouTube also said it is not possible to screen the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded to YouTube every day, but relies on its community policing system that lets viewers “flag” potential video violators.