Google refuses to censor Australian YouTube

Google is seemingly bent on making a clean sweep of the Pacific Rim in its new anti-censorship campaign: first it refused to go on censoring its services at the behest of the Chinese government; now it has refused the Australian government's (batshit crazy) request to censor YouTube videos that Canberra's censor board put into its "refused classification" bucket.

The minister who made the request, Stephen Conroy, apparently missed the memo on Google and China, as he cited Google's erstwhile willingness to censor on behalf of Beijing as reason enough for the company to help him censor videos about safe drug use and painting graffiti, or those that advocate euthanasia. These subjects are all prohibited by Australia's government of the day, which apparently believes Aussies to be such soft-headed sheep that they can't possibly be exposed to ideas it doesn't like, lest they be tempted into wickedness.

"Google at the moment filters an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Chinese government; they filter an enormous amount of material on behalf of the Thai government."

Google Australia's head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said the company had a bias in favour of freedom of expression in everything it did and Conroy's comparisons between how Australia and China deal with access to information were not "helpful or relevant".

Google has recently threatened to pull out of China, partly due to continuing requests for it to censor material.

"YouTube has clear policies about what content is not allowed, for example hate speech and pornography, and we enforce these, but we can't give any assurances that we would voluntarily remove all Refused Classification content from YouTube," Flynn said.

Google baulks at Conroy's call to censor YouTube
(via Resource Shelf)

(Image: YouTube/Refused Classification blog)