Monthly Archives: March 2007

YouTube: racism and homophobia are OK

I mentioned in a post some time ago that I was disappointed that a video with a bit of swearing in (Nick’s epic bowling movie, for example) could be banned from whereas videos from the BNP which solicited almost explicitly racist comments are left untouched. This situation is symptomatic of a problem with the far-right in online communities: they’re far better organised than the left wing are. So, for example, a video during which a Socialist party member reads from a selection of BNP literature and describes them as racist is met with responses like ” Can you explain the non-stop HATE I see every day in the eyes of black men…?”.

Later, the comments devolve into opposing sides referring to eachother as “Moron” and later, “C*nt”. Intriguingly, this last word is banned from videos on YouTube but not from the comments people leave. Check out the abuse this user gets on his profile page. Interestingly, I only stumbled upon that user’s profile because he, in turn, had been sending me offensive and threatening messages because he thought I’d posted a video spoofing homophobic reggae ‘star’, Buju Banton. In turn, a video of fellow reggae performer Shabba Ranks saying the bible supports Buju’s positon features the comment “Heah i aint famous so f*ck it, all queers should be shot dead it aint right and should be dealt with by aggression and plenty of it cut there cocks off if they cant use it properly f*ckin sick bastards.. [sic]”.

I recognise that in the US, where YouTube is registered, there exists a stronger belief in freedom of expression, whatever offence is caused. And yet, YouTube’s Community Guidelines state “We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view. But we don’t permit hate speech which contains slurs or the malicious use of stereotypes intended to attack or demean a particular gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or nationality”. The advice given by YouTube is that if you’re not happy with something, you should flag it as inappropriate and it will be dealt with. I know, however, that this is just not applied to offensive comments.

So what should be done? Some people will say that frankly, freedom of speech should be upheld above all other rights. I disagree when it comes to hate speech as categorised in YouTube’s own rules. YouTube really needs to make more of an effort to moderate debate on its pages. There’s no stopping stupid thugs making unpleasant videos like this but YouTube should be checking the content that gets uploaded to its site.

ERC: hardcore separatists

Yeah, they’re at it again. So-called separatist-friendly, hardcore-porn producing friend of the people, Conrad Son, has been given more money by the Generalitat to make some ‘girl friendly’ porn, en Català. Apparently, he’s a big fan of Josep Carod-Rovira (and no doubt, the ERC leader is a big fan of… hot Catalan action… yuck*).

There are a number of serious questions raised by this (is there really no material considered out of bounds for those keen on spreading the word of Catalan? is it not morally reprehensible for a ‘left-wing’ party to get involved in the production of porn, even if it is ‘for women? doesn’t porn for women just mean it’s toned down a bit?)… the main concern has to be this: Conrad Son, please don’t let Carod-Rovira become the Catalan Ron Jeremy.


*I have no problem with hot Catalan action, myself.

Ann Coulter and the gay porn star

An amusing (and, if I may, revealing) article by Max Blumenthal here covering the slightly embarrassing CPAC event last weekend. It seems that after calling (or nearly calling) John Edwards a ‘faggot’, Coulter cosied up with former gay porn star and rentboy, Cpl. Matt Sanchez.

There is of course nothing inherently wrong with Sanchez being a gay porn star or a male escort. His past is only notable because he chose to join a movement that exploits anti-gay sentiment for political gain. Coulter’s now-famous “faggot” remark was not an aberration, but rather a symbol of the politics of resentment that propels the conservative movement and its elected Republican surrogates; a reflection of the bigotry conservatives have sought to write into the Constitution through the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment. The ascendant “family values” wing of the right is also responsible for sabotaging legislation allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces, a maneuver that may now spell the end of Sanchez’s career.

This is yet another story which gives the lie to conservative ‘ownership’ and ‘custody’ of morality. I wouldn’t mind them so much if they didn’t spend half their time slagging people off for doing things they, or their mates, are perfectly happy to indulge in. The point is that no one, left or right, can own morality… but it is conservatives who frequently claim to.