No Blood for Social Media

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Remember the story, “How did WWI start?”—”If we only knew.” I have some serious similar concerns about current events.

First and most obviously we are losing perspective on what free speech means. Caught for killing a liquor store clerk, you can’t claim violation of expression. That kind of action is in the criminal, not civil realm.

While, admittedly, YouTube has at times called attention to atrocities, they are unquestionably—instead of reporting—intentionally provoking for profit continuing international criminal violence.

We are now told that corporations are people. Any person caught in such a pattern would be arrested and enjoined from further inciting murder, to say nothing of warfare. So, I do not understand why YouTube cannot be charged with manslaughter if not degrees of murder with intent, including conspiracy.

And does no one consider that sending troops to in effect defend a viral extremist and Google/YouTube’s right to profit from resulting international violence is even more perverse than sending troops to secure international oil based on concocted intelligence?

I recognize this is just one video out of a billion, and I know all about the slippery slope. I have stuff up there and am waiting to post more.

But I think the DOJ needs to awaken to new realities. Communications now means what once may have been repellant but legal here, is now internationally legitimized by distribution without the mitigating perspective of professional journalism and criticism. Such disregard for the laws of other nations cannot fail to continue to provoke violence, with some reason. This person YouTube deserves a thorough questioning as to its responsibilities to the rest of the citizenship. Again, murder is not a free speech issue. In the national interest justice now demands proof that YouTube is not a sociopath.

I further hold that a good citizen would actually realize this and voluntarily remove the post; at the very least to not so needlessly put world citizens, civil and military servants at further risk. The patriotic approach is to calm tensions by extracting oneself from the situation as quickly as possible while pursuing a durable solution. No lame excuse about your ‘standards difficulties’ is worth a single life. And there are too many other uncertainties in play.

I don’t want history to ask, “How did WWIII start?”—”Corporate abuse of digital rights for profit.”

Rights versus What’s Right

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Revised 20121110

The conventional wisdom is that the country backs the incumbent during crisis. The term “October surprise” originated from the Nixon’s using Kissinger to declare that peace was at hand in Vietnam.

But I see no evidence for conspiracy here, just chaos. Any opportunist can make a film, and did. Any demagogue can whip up desperate people into frenzy, and they did. The Libyan attack is currently suspected to be a planned two-stage operation under cover of the riot. Still in our national interest we can’t close the embassies and hope to have any constructive influence upon these fractured lands. So we again send 19 year-olds into harm’s way.

If you find this story strangely disconcerting it may be because it forces the nation to ask the ethical question of how many diplomats or soldiers have to die for some shmuck’s free speech, and necessarily your own rights to promulgate a crappy ‘film.’

That ground shifting from under your ideologies could be the realization that it is so much simpler to spout within social media extremism of any ilk, or chicken-hawk jingoistic platitudes, when you are totally insulated from the consequences. When no one you know or for which you have responsibility is at risk. As someone you will never meet is now sitting ready to die for you in sand that burns even at night.

If managers at Google/YouTube were not incurring ethical if not legal dilemmas, they would not be selectively blocking the video depending on the degree of rioting in the market country. But now that corporations are persons, I suggest that a highly pertinent question arises of complicity to murderwhich has nothing to do with free speech.

Manslaughter is a person causing death without prior intention. This would seem to be a slam-dunk case of YouTube guilt.

If the person continues, knowing their actions are likely to produce death, as they are, it becomes murder.

Sleep tight, YouTube, now obviously choosing to sustain international violence for revenue, leveraged on the backs of yet another innocent generation.

I am now informed that the rationale, liberty, and indemnification for this situation derives from Federal Statute 47 U.S.C. §230; which I would identify as now deserving review.

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