Glenn's Junk Chest

An assortment of Glenn's writings, photography, gaming resources, flash movies, and other creative output.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Politics: Welcome to China

If you're in the United States, visiting this video at Google's video service currently presents you with this stark message:

This video is not playable in your country.

No reason is given. No avenue of appeal is suggested. It's not clear whether this is due to government action, google's own self-censorship, or some obscure feature of the political landscape. Go ahead, visit the realms where someone else decides what's suitable for you to see or hear. It's not a good feeling.

Now, the fact of the matter is that this sounds like it may be an option available when a video is uploaded. Some yahoo checked the option for "Don't show this video to visitors from the US". They probably did it to make a point, and as far as I'm concerned, the point is successfully made.

Governments and organizations need to stop trying to filter content from other countries at the border. I don't care if it's comic books being shipped to Canada, offensive cartoons published in Europe, yahoo auctions of world war II nazi memorabilia, or opinion articles about taiwanese independence. If free expression is a fundamental human right (which I certainly believe it is) then placing restrictions on who can access other's expression is just as much a violation of that right as stopping the expression itself.


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Glenn said...

Oh, all right. here it is.

At 2:02 PM, Blogger Glenn said...

boingboing confirms that it's an upload setting.

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Scott said...

The phrase has changed. It now says, "We're sorry, but the provider of this video, not Google, has chosen to disable playback in your location."


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