The YouTube dilemma

An attempt to curtail freedom of speech or legitimate complaint?

Germany’s national Jewish body said Thursday it has filed suit against YouTube and its parent company Google, demanding a court order for the site to be permanently purged of anti-Semitic videos.

Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in Hamburg, “we charge Google with aiding and abetting racial hatred and discrimination on its YouTube video- platform subsidiary.

“We applied this week for an injunction from a court in Hamburg.” He said one example was a video clip that showed a late president of the Central Council, Paul Spiegel, being burned alive. He charged that it had been available for download for months on end.

If there is a video on YouTube showing a man being burned alive, then surely that is beyond the pale and should be removed. Last year the Google company temporarily removed videos of a renowned Egyptian blogger, allegedly because he had uploaded videos showing torture. They were soon reinstated.

The co-founder of YouTube, in Sydney this week, said that he didn’t like the fact that his site sometimes showed extreme violence, but there was nothing he could do to completely eradicate it.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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