Should YouTube Act as a Censor
When decided to remove its video as a response to the riots that occurred within Egypt and Libya and Libya, it sparked an uproar over freedom of expression in the United States. As per an article released through the Electronic Frontier Foundation it was reported that the White House contacted YouTube, in addition, asking for their opinion on whether the video was in compliance with the terms of service they set out in. The article cites an article published in Politico which highlighted how having change vpn firefox contact you about whether you should or not review the content on your website could result in the effect of having a "chilling effect" on free speech.
Some countries requested that YouTube restrict access to this video and YouTube readily agreed to comply. It raises some concerns about the right to free speech in an age where the people who are most likely to act as censors aren't even government agencies, but companies that are private that aren't bound by the constitution's restrictions on their power to restrict information. Since its introduction with the general public in the early 2000s, the Internet is hailed for being one of the most thrilling ways to express your opinions that humans have ever imagined. However an ever-increasing number of businesses and organizations have been able to limit what can be seen on the internet. It doesn't matter if it's an absolute government that puts in an internal firewall for national security or a company such as YouTube which operates in an open marketplace in a democratic society that decides for the viewers what they can be able to see and what they are not allowed to see The implications of free speech are huge.
This article highlights that corporations have typically implemented less stringent requirements for freedom of speech and access to access to information that they would be required by the First Amendment would require. The article also explains that, if a company takes a decision that blocks people's access to the internet or capacity to freely express themselves There is no recourse. In the event of a situation in which the government were blocking access, citizens could go to courts to resolve the issue.
There is also no oversight by users over the terms of service they have to accept from a business. In contrast to civic structures like The First Amendment, the interest of the public is subordinated to the inte rests of the business in the case of free speech issues on websites like YouTube.
If you live in one of the countries that the access to the videos was limited, you could probably still watch it using an VPN. If not, and unless YouTube altering its policies towards free speech, whatever they choose to remove is removed for good.