We've noticed some claims going around that YouTube has been engaging in acts of censorship and removing some of these videos from the site. Unless a video clearly violates our Community Guidelines, we will not take it down. In general, we do not allow graphic or gratuitous violence on YouTube. However, we make exceptions for videos that have educational, documentary, or scientific value. The limitations being placed on mainstream media reporting from within Iran make it even more important that citizens in Iran be able to use YouTube to capture their experiences for the world to see. Given the critical role these videos are playing in reporting this story to the world, we are doing our best to leave as many of them up as we can. YouTube is, at its core, a global forum for free expression. Take note that if you see a video that is unavailable on the site, it may be because the user decided to remove the video him or herself.Apparently Youtube's idea of a "global forum for free expression" is one which censors documentation of bloodshed and death at pivotal moments in history--you know, the kind of expression which matters the most.
June 17, 2009
While the media is not being allowed to report what is happening in Iran, Iranian protesters are risking their lives to record video of the situation and upload it to the internet using very limited bandwidth. At the same time, Youtube is deleting them soon after they are uploaded. Most likely because the deleted footage is graphically violent. UPDATE (07:30 17 June 2009): The twitter hashtag for this censorship is #youtubefail. There is a torrent for 11 videos removed from Youtube. The videos may also have been removed by illegitimate DMCA requests by supporters of Ahmadinejad claiming copyright infringement. This is a good reason why the Digital Millenium Copyright Act should be repealed in the U.S.A. UPDATE (08:58 17 June 2009): In response to being called out on this, Youtube has made a statement congratulating itself on going out of it's way to not delete more of these videos because of the critical nature of the situation and suggesting that these videos may have been removed by the users themselves, presumably just after risking their lives attaining them and uploading them with limited bandwidth available. Here is the relevant part of their statement: