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YouTube Stops John McCain’s Singing

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A political video featuring John McCain has been removed from YouTube, and MoveOn.org is not happy about it.  You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the group is trying to preserve free speech or let an opponent embarrass himself, but the matter speaks to larger issues in either case.

But first, the facts of the case.  “I got word that YouTube today TOOK DOWN an ORIGINAL piece of video content (not any news network) that had John McCain joking about bombing Iran,” said MoveOn.org’s Adam Green in an e-mail to WebProNews.  Indeed, an attempt to view the clip led only to a “terms of use violation” page.

“It had 196,000 views,” Green continued, and as that comment implies, the video isn’t exactly a secret – organizations such as the Associated Press and USA Today are already well aware of it.  It’s surprising, then, that anyone would try to remove the clip from the public eye, but that nonetheless appears to be the case, and Green is not at all happy about it.

“To understand the importance of allowing political video like this to thrive online,” he wrote, “it’s worth noting that this exact video formed the basis of a TV ad MoveOn.org Political Action announced today . . . against McCain.”
 
And whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, or something else entirely, Green feels that the removal of the video is something to get upset about.  “It is time to draw a line in the sand and make clear that taking down political speech first and asking questions later is absolutely unacceptable behavior.”

UPDATE: Just before posting this story, I noticed that the video has been “un-removed.”  YouTube has not yet responded to our inquiry on the matter.

UPDATE 2: A YouTube spokesperson said this was all a big "oops":

"We appreciate the prompt feedback from our community regarding the
McCain video. It was flagged by our users, we reviewed it and it was
mistakenly removed. We have examined the situation and have since
reinstated the video."

YouTube Stops John McCain’s Singing
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