YouTube Pulls Awlaki Videos
UK, US governments urged site to remove 'hate speech'
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 4, 2010 7:12 AM CDT
This Oct. 2008 file photo shows Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Yemeni cleric and recruiter for al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen.   (AP Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen, File)

(Newser) – YouTube has pulled hundreds of videos featuring Anwar al-Awlaki, in response to pressure from British officials and a letter from New York congressman Anthony Weiner. YouTube said the al-Qaeda cleric’s videos violated the site’s policies against “dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech, and incitement to commit violent acts,” as well as its prohibition against accounts “registered by a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization.”

Weiner told the New York Times that his letter initially received a “bureaucratic” response, but that Google changed its tune after Awlaki was linked to the recent attempted mail bombings from Yemen. “It has become increasingly clear that this guy is an international terrorist that is using their service to do illegal things,” Weiner said. A YouTube spokeswoman says the company wants to protect freedom of expression, and would only remove videos that called for violence. “These are difficult issues,” she added.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Spudsy
Nov 4, 2010 12:46 PM CDT
As always, I am troubled by censorship. Especially some that seems to be unfair to muslims. To be fair, they should remove all religious videos. It is the right thing to do. I know we will all feel so much better then.
Mexoplex
Nov 4, 2010 8:02 AM CDT
Anwar al-Awlaki looks like the 'Jewel of The Nile' dude
UncleCoffee
Nov 4, 2010 7:39 AM CDT
The Constitution guarantees that if you stand up on a soapbox in the middle of the town square and shout hateful words, no one from the government will come and arrest you. The Constitution does not, however, guarantee you a soapbox.