12 February 2007

In support of Nick Ginsburne

Now that was a truly unexpected title! No, Nick Ginsburne is not some crazy guy trying to cross the North Sea on foot to raise money for a vaccine against the jock itch or something. In fact he's completely unrelated to me or to any of the usual topics of this blog.

Nick is an atheist, which makes him alike me in one respect. (He also has a beard and wears glasses, so that's two more things. And he's a human male. And he speaks English. We're a lot alike each other!) Some time ago Nick, who apparently uses YouTube a lot, uploaded a video consisting of a list of verses of the Qur'an (that is, the holy book of Islam). The video was removed. He uploaded it again, and again it was removed. Supporters of free speech got the video and tried to re-upload it on their own YouTube accounts, but they were deleted as well. Nick's YouTube account was finally suspended. Just to test the idea, Nick uploaded a similar video using verses from the Bible. The video stayed and was OK for a while, and then it was deleted. As of this moment, one copy of the video remains in someone else's account, though I don't know for how long.

Well, YouTube is owned by Google. Google, which is of course known by its search engine, is also the owner of Gmail, the first web-based email service to provide users with mammoth 1GB+ mailboxes, and of the very service that hosts this blog, Blogger. I'm now wondering whether Google will eventually have the time to scan the million of blogs hosted by Blogger and censor them as they did with Nick's video on YouTube. I can only suppose that Nick's video was found because the guys at YouTube are desperately looking for videos that violate copyright, which they used to host (and still host) by at least the hundreds of thousands, after a couple of media companies threatened to sue.

Anyway, I'm not a user of YouTube. I'm writing this to let YouTube and Google know, if possible, that here's another atheist that likes to produce content for the web, and doesn't like the feeling of being watched for political correctness. We're the ones paying your frickin' salaries and giving value to your stocks. You don't want to mess with us.

If you want to fight censorship, and censorship clearly motivated by religious bigotry at that, use whatever space you have to link to articles denouncing YouTube's policies. It would be delicious to enter "YouTube censorship" in Google and see a relevant result up there in the first page of results. Google ranks results higher if the same words are linked to the same web address in many different places. So this is my little grain of sand. Here's another one, linking "YouTube censorship" with another denunciation. And a YouTube censorship protest video!


  1. Let the Google Bombing begin!

    I'll include a link to your post soon, as well as any others I come across.

    Thanks for your support. I know Nick sure as hell appreciates it!

  2. Well, now even two sensible Christian bloggers are talking about YouTube censorship!

  3. Excellent! I'll be adding them presently.

  4. Anonymous12:06

    Have you seen this one from YouTube? John Safran in Utah

    Sorry the link is from my own blog not YouTube's original link - I couldn't find it. Funny though.

  5. The censorship is just part of their corporate policy. We all can potentially run afoul of it. I'm a Christian blogger whose YouTube satire of the Blasphemy Challenge was shot down by some overzealous atheists. What comes around, goes around, eh? Does Ginsburne have a web presence/blog? It'd be interesting having a conversation with him...assuming he hasn't been driven from the blogosphere entirely.

  6. I replied to that in your blog. In summary, associating atheists with Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao is not nice. Shouldn't be grounds for removal of a video, but still.


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