Free Speech in the Age of YouTube

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Name Instructor Course Date The question of what web content is allowable to be posted online becomes an issue after an anti-Islamic video was posted on YouTube. Apparently, Google, owner of YouTube, restricted the video in some countries while it is still up in other countries. Google explains that to some countries, the video violates their local laws, but at the same time, claiming that it does not meet their hate speech so it was not taken down altogether. As a result, Google received unsolicited pieces of advice from shareholders on how to filter their content. One opinion comes from Columbia University professor Tim Wu who proposed that an oversight board of regional experts is created to help scrutinize and decide what web content is allowable by private speech controllers. Indeed, private speech controllers such as Google need a third party if they cannot do such daunting tasks. This oversight board will check whether Google works correctly. In this case, since the right to freedom of speech and expression in the digital age differs among countries, oversight board shall study each country’s internal laws and then set international guidelines on cyber rights to free speech. Another opinion involves Susan Benesch’s request for “many explanations” of private speech controllers regarding their stand on offensive content. Transparency in Google’s policy on hate speech shall be exercised because freedom of expression and openness are intertwined. Google must disclose their actions upon issues like hate speech so that shareholders or netizens know what to upload or download. Users would also know when a content has been removed from the site. With

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