Turkey Shuts Out YouTube
If you’re reading this story in January of 2008, rest assured that it’s not a reprint. You can pretty much get by with recalling an old article, though, because for the third or so separate time, Turkey’s government has become upset with YouTube and banned the video-sharing site.
The ban occurred because of user-created videos that insult Ataturk, Turkey’s founder, and we in no way approve of these clips. It’s just that somebody, somewhere, has to realize a whack-a-mole approach to deleting them (and/or banning YouTube) isn’t working.
The current situation puts Turkey’s government in a light that makes it look more silly than authoritative. Google’s support of free speech appears weaker every time it gives in. No one’s winning.
In America, people representing George Washington and Abraham Lincoln sell hamburgers and hawk cars. The practice isn’t exactly "nice" or respectful, but it does no real harm. Turkey’s government will need to either get used to the Ataturk videos, accept that YouTube can’t instantly take them down, or just spare everyone the back-and-forth and enact a permanent ban.
Or it can keep intermittently blocking the site. At least the routine gives us something to write about.