The Shame of Larry Page & Sergey Brin Google/Youtube Owners
WARNING: Derogatory words have been used in this article as an illustration regarding the need for filtering and policing of YouTube and we do apologize but feel it is necessary to stress the importance of this issue.
In America and many other countries across the world a rating system is in place to designate and to classify types of media with regard to suitability for audiences that involve sex, violence, substance abuse, profanity, impudence or other types of mature content. Music, video games are also rated for content, so that minors who have not yet developed their own sense of ethical and moral barriers are not unduly influenced. Even certain shows that have adult themes are not supposed to be aired during ‘family hour’ due to this same societal impact on our youth. It would seem that everything is policed, rated and filtered so that they are protected - everything, that is except YouTube.
What is the responsibility of the co-owners of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who also own YouTube to protect minors from the filth that is routinely spewed on their network? What is the responsibility of the FCC?
Social networks are avenues of instantaneous connectivity available to any person who can boot up a personal computer, including children under the age of 18. There must be some sort of system set in place to protect minors from hearing, viewing, or participating in situations that are beyond their scope of understanding and level of naiveté. Of course the first line of defense is always watchful parents and in no way are they absolved from their responsibility to protect their own children, however this does not release online companies from their obligation to society. Most companies have set rules of conduct that they and their constituents, users, clients etc. abide by to protect individuals who utilize their online sites. It is imperative that all private and public institutions insure that their corporate governances are followed.
Most times when a person becomes a member of an online site they are asked to click a box that says they have read and understand the stipulations and restrictions on the particular site they are joining. It would not be a stretch to say that most people do not read these regulations but merely click the box asserting that they have indeed read them. It is only when a user breaksa rule and their account becomes disabled that they begin to understand there are consequences to their actions.
Frequently, when someone is caught bullying or opinionating in a hateful manner online they instantly claim that they are protected by the 1st Amendment; the Freedom of Speech but this is not correct. It is not lawful to humiliate, or speak in a derogatory or slanderous way about another person without proof of what is being stated is true. Freedom of speech is not freedom to slander and it is not acceptable by any societal norm to do so.
First Amendment, in its entirety:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
The important word to stress here is: CONGRESS shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . . . ." The government shall not prohibit free speech but our speech IS regulated by the societal contract that we all share and it does not condone nor allow racial, homophobic, scandalous, libelous, or slanderous statements.
Essentially, the government has no control over whether or not a company will have any kind of speech restrictions within their work environment that their employees must abide by. Each company’s framework is slightly different but they all use a community styled contract that is an acceptable societal norm. For example, there are many companies that require their employees to attend Awareness Seminars in which they are schooled in which words they can and cannot use regarding fellow employees. The commonly accepted word “lady” has recently become one of the words not approved as it has a connection to “lady of the evening” or “prostitute”. Additionally, pronouns are frowned upon as demeaning and employees are urged to routinely replace them with the name of the person they are referring to. If employees take it upon themselves to break the etiquette word rules of their workplace they cannot claim the 1st Amendment - Freedom of Speech as a means not to get fired.
Don Imus was fired in 2007 from CBS radio because he used the derogatory racial and sexually offensive words “nappy headed hoes” towards the female Rutgers Basketball team. Dr. Laura Schlessinger stepped down from her syndicated radio program in 2010 amidst controversy over her using the word “Nigger” 11 times while speaking to a caller. Obviously, these two radio personalities lost their prestigious positions on radio because they broke the social contract with their listeners. They broke from the word etiquette rules required for that job and restraints of what the public finds acceptable.
Google/YouTube Ineffective Community Guidelines
Google, a public company since 2004, which owns YouTube,
a social networking site that has, like any reasonable and responsible entity, set into place rules for utilizing their site and a code of acceptable user etiquette called Community Guidelines.
This link leads to a short 2:37 video, entitled “Staying Safe on YouTube”, that is a speedy little tutorial on what the YouTube Community is all about.
First, the perky little female voice with a banjo playing in the background to give that homey feel, claims YouTube is all about the community, and as with any community it involves trust. Trust.
The video further states that “We trust YOU to be responsible while your on the site and states it’s “not for users under 13 and to please come back AFTER your birthday”. A few other quotes from this video are:
“We are serious about the rules”
“If you receive three strikes for violating the Community Guidelines we will disable your account AND it is a violation of the rules to open a new one. “
“Help us keep the site safe by flagging the videos that break the rules.”
“Keep your comments clean”
“Respect copyright- If you don’t own it – don’t post it.”
“Sexual content is not allowed on YouTube.. even if it’s a video of yourself.”
Apparently the word TRUST is not a misnomer because YouTube treats its users like irresponsible parents who would leave their children alone in a room with bowls of candy and only mention casually that they really shouldn’t eat those little bits of deliciousness as they leave them alone for hours on end.
Further elucidation on what YouTube expects from its users and complete details of what they find acceptable and unacceptable behaviors are described in detail. Please watch this informative though laughable video regarding flagging videos.
Another quote to make note of:
“We review flag videos 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week and in most cases they are reviewed and acted on in under an hr.”
It is very important to read through this presentation of YouTube’s Fictional Community Guidelines and responsibility to it’s community based on “trust” because it is clear to anyone who has spent a little bit of time in this social network community that they do not abide by their own set governance.
Back in 2008 this blogger addresses YouTube’s lack of policing video content regarding their Community Guideline regarding violence which states:
“Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.”
Please read http://www.blogher.com/youtube-and-videotaped-violence
Some users break the Shock Value rule – Be forewarned the user accounts within this article have vulgar and obscene words and graphics.
This particular user is affiliated with a well-known anti-social group called HouseOfPain –This DogsOfDowntown was disabled once but resurrected immediately even although as stated on that succinct YouTube Safety Rule video is clearly “against the rules.”
The background displays a man at a urinal and a women squatting on a urinal. The recent activity shows comments using racial epitaphs and they have two videos showing dead women. And one of this particular user’s friend is:
http://www.youtube.com/user/TeaNaziParty They have taken pictures of Sarah Palin and photoshopped her in humiliating ways. These also have been flagged as they are obviously breaking copyright laws as those pictures do not belong to them, however, they have not been removed.
Another account http://www.youtube.com/user/MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA#p/f/4/WE5N9kzqbRc This video shows a bloodied body of a young girl dead and the background is a woman being abused.
Many YouTube Users routinely use hate-speech in their videos and on their individual account pages. Racial, homo-phobic, anti-Semitic, Islamaphobic and misogynistic remarks are rampant in their comment section. However, YouTube does not have a way to report these actions. There is a blue report link at the bottom of each user’s account but that is only for reporting the background picture. These users get around the reporting of their sites by having acceptable background pictures but their profiles are filled with filth.
While YouTube claims not to allow anything racial or purposefully done to humiliate users such as this one are rampant. Please not in the sidebar the continued use of the word ‘nigger’ and the vulgarity in which they speak about the surviving son of Michael Jackson – Prince Jackson.
Please be forewarned- Content is disturbing and crude.
The conversation box and comments from their friends are similarly distasteful and many background are beyond the pale. Depictions of women with hands and feet bound with mouth taped, dead and bludgeoned bleeding women with throats cuts laying in tubs filled with blood, parodies of child rape, and animal cruelty are graphically displayed.
However, this is NOT a new problem. It has been rampant since YouTube’s inception. This is a user from 2007 complaining about accounts that have racial slurs as their account names and nothing has been done about it.
Also, reportedly an actual rape was film and uploaded on YouTube in 2008
It is clear from observing activities of some users for that the YouTube Community Guidelines are not only broken repeatedly but flagging and reporting them to YouTube seems a futile and useless endeavor. These users understand that YouTube is not truly a socially responsible network so that they can take advantage of this situation with impunity.
If by some miracle an appropriate action is taken and the user has been disabled, within in one hour that same user is back up and running with the same abhorrent and obnoxious videos.
“It seems that Youtube LLC, and Google Inc. as Youtube's owner, don't really mind the offensive commentary accompanying so many of their videos. They've made no efforts to curb the racism, no efforts to allow community moderation, no efforts to hire administrators of their own to combat the phenomenon, and no efforts to discourage such comments from being made in the first place. Either they're completely oblivious to what's happening on their own website, or they know about it and simply don't care, because it would cost them money to fight it, and/ or because the ebb and flow of arguing about race generates more hits for their websites. In either case, both companies have proven their own irresponsibility in this regard, and it's difficult to say which of these forms of tolerating ignorance are worse.” Matt Rock*
*Matt’s full article can be found on this link and it is an important to read and to note that it was written in 2008 and nothing has been done about the issues he addresses.
It’s not getting any better - August 2010 -> Youtube shows man teaching a boy racism
What’s worse than having this garbage readily available to unsuspecting minors with no filtering, no policing, absolutely FREE reign for any degenerate and unscrupulous person with accessibility to a computer??
GOOGLE ADVERTISING on these KNOWN vulgar Sites.
It is not clear which is more abhorrent the fact that the user accounts exist at all or that YouTube not only allows them but Google Ads are posted on many of them. On one of these troll account whose conversation is routinely rife with nigger, faggot, cunt etcc… there was an ad for Oprah’s OWN boldly along the bottom of their video. Is this what Oprah had in mind? It’s doubtful.
We first attempted to use Google’s search engine while trying to find information regarding YouTube’s problem with content, policing their content, being sued, racism, etc…and were routinely taken to the YouTube forum where users discuss these issues. However, there is NO way to contact any one at Youtube by email to complain about any of these kinds of abuses only for copyright.
Switching over to the Yahoo search engine immediately turned up this Canadian organization that has been focusing on this very same issue. They have a wonderful site that should be joined and used as a guide to stop this type of hate and violence on YouTube.
This link explains where YouTube is banned ->
Again we simply ask-
What is the responsibility of the co-owners of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin who also own YouTube to protect minors from the filth that is routinely spewed on their network?
We encourage comments, suggestions and a conversation to take place regarding this pressing issue. We also urge you to contact these two corporate leaders and express your deep concerns regarding the lack of application of the Community Guidelines that they have set in place.
Unfortunately, and quite wisely their contact information is more secure than the gold in Fort Knox. We merely have the YouTube address.
901 Cherry Ave.
San Bruno, CA 94066
Phone: +1 650-253-0000
Fax: +1 650-253-0001
Contacting the FCC - http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumers_contacts.html
We would appreciate input from anyone who may have better contact information for Larry Page and Sergey Brin to please extend it to us and we will be more than happy to edit this post.
MJJJusticeProject -- It's time to Stop the Hate