YouTube should have its own standard regulation to censor videos, because YouTube is an open website that people around the world can access. People have rights to publish their videos freely, but YouTube also has rights to remove them by using their standard censorship tools. YouTube should not be affected by other countries that have blocked the sites to change its censorship standard, because YouTube provides videos that are appropriate for most people.
First, violent or sexual videos may affect society and children’ growth. Some videos contain violence or sexuality, but actually it is hard to balance if the videos include too much violence or sexuality. According to Hopkins (2007), YouTube had removed a series of music videos from Taiwan. These music videos included something that might be derogatory toward Taiwanese women. These kinds of videos directly influence our society and these may become another controversial issue on the Internet, so YouTube decided to remove them due to violence. In another case, a murder happened in Finland. YouTube had allowed this video that was shown on the site because everybody had a right to know what happened (Sandoval, 2007). “The world’s most popular video-sharing site now finds itself in the middle of a very heated debate over issues of free speech, censorship, and whether the site is responsible for spotting criminals” (Sandoval, 2007, para.7). Why, of the two videos, was one video removed and another shown on the site? YouTube might have its own standard. Although the murder video might influence children’ growth, parents could prohibit their children from searching for these kinds of videos if they needed to. They should not require YouTube to remove it, because other people have rights to know what happens around the world.
Second, the videos insult religions; it may cause controversial problems around the world. Religion problems have always existed and are discussed in the Internet world. According to Gaijinbiker (2006), YouTube got rid of a video that contains the criticism of Islam. In order to avoid controversy, YouTube removed the video that might cause the disagreement. Nevertheless, “YouTube should not be in the viewpoint-regulation business; the best response to offensive speech is more speech, not censorship” (Gaijinbiker, 2006, para.3). YouTube provides a free space to let people share their perspective. People can share anything that they want, but not including insulting other religions. Religions are consecrated in some countries. People should have self-ethics and responsibility when they upload any videos about religions. People should respect all religions although they had disagreed with some religions. YouTube is a website that provides everybody space to share their videos. It is not a place that wants to make people argue.
Third, YouTube might be blocked in a few countries because some videos may be inappropriate for their oversensitive citizens. According to Schroeder (2007), some countries have decided to protect their citizens from the sharing of horror videos by blocking the site, such as Iran, Morocco, Thailand, Turkey, Iraq, Brazil, Australia (in schools), China, and India. Some countries were afraid that the horror videos might influence their citizens. In Victoria, Australia, YouTube has been blocked in schools, in order to protect children (Schroeder, 2007). In Morocco and Thailand, some videos had appeared to mock their king, so the government from these countries decided to ban the site. The hottest topic recently in China, according to Nystedt (2008, para.1), is that “China has blocked access to Google News and YouTube in an apparent attempt to stop the spread of video footage related the rioting going on in several cities in Tibet, including the capital Lhasa.” In order to avoid the riots, the Chinese government has blocked the site. Different countries have different standard censorship tools for the sites. They should not require all websites to follow their regulation. However, YouTube could have its own standard of censorship for videos. It should not be forced by every country. If other countries have any doubts for videos that were showed on YouTube, they could block the site or prohibit people from accessing it. They should not generate any controversial issues or ask for blocking the site. When the sites are blocked, at the same time, the human rights are also blocked. Thus, people from other countries have rights to what happens around the world.
As for the opponents, they said YouTube was unfair to get rid of their videos, or that YouTube could not provide videos that are too sensitive. When videos are removed, some people may think that YouTube is a business and it just wants to avoid any arguments (Gaijinbiker, 2006). Most people are smart enough to understand which is right and which is wrong. So, YouTube should not ban their videos. On the other hand, if YouTube approves videos which are too sensitive but only disputed by some people and countries, they may criticize YouTube for why YouTube does not get rid of those videos, because those videos may influence their children, society, or even countries. However, these problems are difficult to balance. If people feel uncomfortable about some videos, they should just not watch them. YouTube must have their standard censorship tools. It should not follow or cater to every country, because YouTube provides videos for people around the world and does not provide for a few countries or for personal use only.
In conclusion, YouTube is very popular because people have deemed it the most useful website (Hopkins, 2007). It is not as if people are without choices. The real attraction is that people can find any videos there. So, YouTube can use their standard censorship tools to censor videos that people upload. It does not have to follow or cater to every country’s regulation. If parents feel that the violence or sexuality is too much, they can disallow their children to watch it. When people upload any videos about religion, they should have their ethic and responsibility for the videos. Although they have rights to publish their speech, they should respect other religions. YouTube also has rights to delete videos, which may cause controversial issues. Finally, if a country feels the site is not suitable for their citizens, they can just block the site. Or if some videos are too sensitive for a few countries, they can ban these videos from the site as well. However, people have rights to decide for themselves whether they want to watch it or not.
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Gaijinbiker (2006, October 5). Selective Censorship on YouTube. RidingSun.com. Retrieved April 6, 2008, from http://www.ridingsun.com/posts/1159985048.shtml
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