February 10, 2007
A DOUBLE STANDARD AT GOOGLE-OWNED YOUTUBE:
The Google property has recently banned the popular atheist commentator Nick Gisburne. Gisburne had been posting videos with logical arguments against Christian beliefs; but when he turned his attention to Islam (mirror of Gisburne's video by another user), YouTube pulled the plug, saying: 'After being flagged by members of the YouTube community, and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature. Due to your repeated attempts to upload inappropriate videos, your account now been permanently disabled, and your videos have been taken down.'
Christians who want similar consideration from Google will presumably have to start blowing things up and beheading people. As I've noted before, it's quite unwise to create this kind of incentive structure. I thought the Google people were supposed to be smart.
UPDATE: Here's a Christian blogger who nonetheless supports Gisburne:
I, like many of the greatest minds of the last 2000 years, think that Christianity is a perfectly reasonable and logical thing to believe. Still, I am appalled that Gisburne's YouTube account has been deleted and his voice silenced.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Gisburne has a new account, and posts a video on the subject.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Eugene Volokh comments:
YouTube is a private company that is entitled to choose what it carries; and while using YouTube is a convenient way to effectively get your views out, you can certainly get them out even without YouTube. Nonetheless, consumers are also entitled to criticize YouTube and other media organizations — organizations that make a living off our vibrant marketplace of ideas — for refusing to carry certain important viewpoints because some find those viewpoints offensive.
MORE: Further thoughts here: "Needless to say, this sounds familiar."