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Censorship vs. Choosing to Air: Video of Saddam’s Execution

Last night, one of our members uploaded footage of Saddam Hussein’s execution. The story was reported by another member as needing a warning attached to it. I then had to decide whether to censor the video or let it run. Here’s my decision: WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: Saddam Execution Video ..full including the drop » Netscape.com

So far, I’ve received two private messages complaining about this decision. One of them proclaimed in all caps: “SHAME ON YOU FOR PUTTING THIS UP!!!” This is what I wrote in reply to that message:

Unlike other media outlets, our decision wasn’t whether or not to air the video, but rather whether or not to censor the video after a member uploaded it. Those are two very different decisions to make. If it had been up to me whether or not to air the video, I would have decided not to air it. However, after watching the video and considering our Netscape Video Standards and our Terms of Use, I do not think the video warranted censorship, especially considering that it can also be found on platforms that run parallel to Netscape Video, such as Google Video and YouTube.

So, that was my decision, and I’m sticking by it. It was not an easy one to make. However, as you’ll notice, I didn’t choose to syndicate the video on this blog. I chose not to censor on Netscape, but I’m choosing not to air it on my personal site.

As I write this blog post, the story has 109 votes and 37 sinks. The video has been viewed over 70,000 times. Two direct complaints and 37 sinks in light of those other numbers makes me think I made the right decision.

After I replied with the above comment, the shouting member wrote back:

Alright I concede. I understand your point. I don’t like it but nobody
said I had to either. Thanks.

I replied:

Believe me. I don’t like it much either. It was a tough call to make,
but ultimately I’m standing by the decision. I think it was the right
one given the circumstances.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • trish 12/31/2006, 1:20 pm

    i appreciate you allowing it. It just goes to support America’s freedom of speech.

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