Write a paragraph response to the debate. First, before reading the debate, note if you are for or against the statement. Then note if your position changed or remained the same after you read the debate (after reading the debate, do you agree more with the pro or con position?) Give any insights on the debate or debate topic.

Topic: YouTube was right not to take down an anti-Islam video altogether because it did not meet the company’s definition of hate speech (Sengupta, “Free Speech in the Age of YouTube”).


Seungmin:

Pro

As the Internet has developed, the way individuals express their opinions has also become more diverse YouTube is the most symbolic and accessible way, and many people are using YouTube to express their views. YouTube has made it easy to get opinions from a variety of people, but it also has side effects. Due to the nature of communicating directly with viewers without censorship or editing, inappropriate comments have also been posted without prior verification, which is seen by many. Therefore, YouTube imposes sanctions on inappropriate videos that have created its own rules, subtle boundaries of hateful remarks, and various opinions about them. YouTube limited the selection of anti-Islamic videos instead of completely deleting them, and there are also conflicting opinions about the decision.

I think YouTube was right not to take down an anti-Islam video altogether. According to Tim Wu, a professor of law at Columbia University, it is virtually impossible for one company to censor other countries’ laws and laws through more than a billion videos. That’s why Google has no choice but to set its standards for judging videos, and I think it’s impossible to satisfy everyone. As a representative example, I think that the standards of hate speech are so tricky that even among legal scholars, to impose sanctions on vaguely broad-based hate speech to preserve freedom of expression and to preserve reasonable debate and debate, can only be more strictly followed by their standards.

Tumen says reasonable arguments and debates that can be discussed in appropriate languages should not end in fear of hurting people’s feelings. (Speech of Hatred to Campus) Therefore I think it was an inevitable choice not to implement a complete deletion of ambiguous remarks that could be discussed if Google, like the anti-Islamic video incident, did not conform to the definition of a preset hate speech.


Yongsuk:

con

I disagree with the statement that YouTube was right not to take down an anti-Islam video altogether because it did not meet the company’s definition of hate speech. According to the New York Times article “Free Speech in the Age of YouTube,” by Somoni Sengupta, it explains that most of Internet companies are struggling to deal with the free speech and hate speech issue. It is because that the idea of hate speech is a “pliable notion,” which means that there is no clear standard to distinguish the speech that provokes violence or conflict and the speech that does not. Besides, the number of videos that are required to analyze is overwhelming. Over a billion videos should be discussed whether it is violating the law from the different countries. Therefore, most of the Internet companies like Google (owns YouTube) have their clear guidelines and rules to decide whether to remove the post and video or not.

Google decided not to take down the ani-Islam video that was posted on YouTube because it was not considered as a hate speech base on its standard and rules. I believe the standard and the laws that Google had has several problems to be recognized as the right standard for distinguishing what a hate speech is. Since Google is a company located in the United States, the values and opinions that are contained in that standard should be based on values in America. Therefore, the videos could be considered as a form of hate speech with the view of different people from different countries. For example, in my home country, Korea, people are less likely to be aware of Islamic culture and people living there, whereas people in the United States already have certain feelings or opinions formed by certain events happened in the past (e.g. terror). Accordingly, Korean people can build negative stereotypes toward Islamic countries without having enough background information by watching anti-Islamic video on YouTube. Overall, I believe the decision of Google not to take down the anti-Islam video was a bad decision because the video could take a role of hate speech depending on the background of the people who are watching the video.

To solve the problems, Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor, suggested: “Why not set up an oversight board of regional experts or serious YouTube users from around the world to make the especially tough decisions?” (Sengupta, “Free Speech in the Age of YouTube”) He pointed out the problem of the rules that Google had could not work effectively since YouTube is a website that is used by lots of people around the world. I strongly think that Google should have taken an action somewhat in the way how professor Tim suggested so that they can have an appropriate standard to restrict the video or not.


Seungmin (rebuttal and discussion question):

I agree that the regulation of hate speech is necessary, but I do not agree that Google’s sanctions itself have problems. Like you said in the text, the idea of hate speech is a “pliable notion,” which means that there is no clear standard to distinguish the speech that provokes violence or conflict and the speech that does not. That’s why Google believes it has no choice but to define its own hate speech and make its own proper penalties.

I think the argument of ” Overall, I believe the decision of Google not to take down the anti-Islam video was a bad decision because the video could take a role of hate speech depending on the background of the people who are watching the video.” could be a dangerous idea. As it is mentioned in the text and the article, defining a clear standard to distinguish hate speech is very difficult. Therefore, if there is someone who didn’t think the video is not a hate speech, he or she might believe that taking down an anti-Islam video altogether is violating the freedom of speech. Just as we apply the principle of presumption of innocence to suspects until the crime is confirmed when we enforce the law, I think Google should refuse the taking down the video until it determines that it causes violence and conflict.


Yongsuk (rebuttal and discussion question):

I understood your opinion that it is almost impossible to define what hate speech is. In your third paragraph, you said: “Therefore I think it was an inevitable choice not to implement a complete deletion of ambiguous remarks that could be discussed if Google, like the anti-Islamic video incident, did not conform to the definition of a preset hate speech.” You argued that Google had no choice but rely on their own rule to classify videos or posts, and it was the best thing that they can do. However, according to the text, some experts like Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor, have explained about some suggestions that could be helpful to Google’s decision, but Google had no any other responses to it. This indicates that Google is not seriously looking for the best choice that they can make. Therefore, the assertion that “Google had no choice” does not have a great degree of reliability. Furthermore, as I mentioned in my posting, there is a possibility that the anti-Islam video could take a role as one form of hate speech depending on the background culture of the people who are watching. This means that there is a minimal chance for the video to be a hate speech and ultimately might lead to serious conflict between certain groups. In this situation, not regulating anti-Islam video on YouTube channel cannot be considered as an inevitable choice, but as an irresponsible action.

 
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