The Blog

YouTube's Double Standard

1:43 PM, Nov 27, 2007 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

According to this article, posted at the Drudge Report, YouTube suspended the account of an Egyptian "anti-torture" activist whose videos included Egyptian police violence against anti-government protesters:

Wael Abbas said close to 100 images he had sent to YouTube were no longer accessible, including clips depicting purported police brutality, voting irregularities and anti-government demonstrations. YouTube, owned by search engine giant Google Inc , did not respond to a written request for comment. A message on Abbas's YouTube user page read: "This account is suspended."

"They closed it (the account) and they sent me an e-mail saying that it will be suspended because there were lots of complaints about the content, especially the content of torture," Abbas told Reuters in a telephone interview. Abbas, who won an international journalism award for his work this year, said that of the images he had posted to YouTube, 12 or 13 depicted violence in Egyptian police stations.

Abbas was a key player last year in distributing a clip of an Egyptian bus driver, his hands bound, being sodomised with a stick by a police officer -- imagery that sparked an uproar in a country where rights groups say torture is commonplace.

That tape prompted an investigation that led to a rare conviction of two policemen, who were sentenced to three years in prison for torture. Egypt says it opposes torture and prosecutes police against whom it has evidence of misconduct.

I wonder if they'll shut down this video? Or this one? Or this one?

There are hundreds of similar videos now available on YouTube. The ones above include nudity, abuse, and graphic photos of dead people. Are the Egyptian videos really more graphic? Or is there a double-standard?