Saturday, December 1, 2012

Actress Attempts to Remove Hate-Filled Film from Youtube

The movie "Innocence of Muslims" became one of the most controversial films of the year when it caused protests in various Muslim countries.

One of the actresses in the film attempted to have the film removed from youtube because she said that the director lied to her about the nature of the film, and dubbed (replaced) new lines over the lines she spoke.  Therefore, she stated that her life was now in danger because it appears that she makes many statements attacking Islam.

Unfortunately, a judge refused to allow this film to be removed from youtube.

There are, of course, limits to "free speech."  A person cannot make deliberately false statements about another person or use speech to cause violence.  The judge, apparently, however, felt that the film was protected by the 1st Amendment.

Interestingly, President Obama asked that the film be removed from youtube even if it was protected by the right to freedom of speech.  It is up to each web site as to whether it allows "controversial" material, and most web sites will voluntarily remove hate-filled and malicious content for the good of the community.  Google (which owns youtube) refused to do this.

1)  Do you think that Google should have removed this video even if it is protected by the 1st Amendment right to freedom of expression? After all, the film is truly badly written, edited and directed and presents false and hate-filled messages about a religion.

2)  Do you think that Google is "required" somehow to present anything that anyone posts?  For instance, here's an analogy:  Let's say you own a bookstore and an author comes in and tries to encourage you to sell copies of his book which seems to be attacking a religion or religious figure in a hate-filled manner.  He assures you that the book is protected by the First Amendment and that many copies of the book can be sold.  Would you sell that type of book?

3)  Why do you think Google refused to remove the video even though the president of the US asked them to?  Some people feel that Google is more interested in profits than the 1st Amendment and does not want to spend money monitoring or policing or removing negative content from their search engine and youtube. For instance, an argument might be that it  might cost a great deal of money to hire an appropriate staff to remove "objectionable" content from the Google search engine and youtube.  Google may not want to spend this money.

4)  Do you think the actress was right to ask that the film be removed because it makes her seem anti-Islamic?

5)  Do you think the sometimes violent protests against this film were justified?

6)  Did you see the film?  What is your response to this film? If you did not see the film/video, why didn't you watch it?

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