YouTube Under Fire Over Nazi Clips

    August 29, 2007

YouTube’s in trouble again, and this goes far beyond issues of copyright law; the German government, along with at least one major Jewish group, is angry about the presence of Nazi propaganda on the video-sharing site.

“The appearance or distribution of Nazi material is illegal in Germany,” notes Bloomberg’s Patrick Donahue.  As a result,, “[a] government-sponsored Internet watchdog group,” has had to file “more than 100 complaints to YouTube about the clips.”

Another section of the Bloomberg piece reveals that “Salomon Korn, vice president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told SWR [a German broadcaster] that he expects state prosecutors and authorities to take action.”

Google and YouTube spokespeople have claimed that they will remove every inappropriate clip, but it remains to be seen if the companies can act quickly – and thoroughly – enough.  And even if Google is perfectly accommodating, new Nazi videos could be uploaded onto YouTube and complicate matters.  The German situation is, on the whole, somewhat reminiscent of a mess in Thailand that took months to resolve.

No timetables have been set for whatever sort of showdown may occur.  In the meantime, Google is probably less than happy about the publicity it’s receiving due to this matter.