Freedom of Uploading?

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Does the concept of freedom of speech extend to uploading videos of our troops being shot at in Iraq and elsewhere around the world?

That’s the question that arises in this front page article in The New York Times today. In typical New York Times fashion, they run screen shots of the videos in question when they could easily embed the videos. I’d say "linking is tired, embedding is wired" but the New York Times doesn’t link to the videos either.

So I went over to YouTube and looked for the two videos shown in the New York Times article. One called "Sniper Hit" has been taken down "due to terms of service violation". The other one can be found here. I thought about putting the video right into this post, but if the video is real (and I have no idea if it is), it shows US troops being shot by Iraqi insurgents. I can’t put that on this blog as much as I want to embrace the idea that opening our eyes is a good thing.

Here is a comment to the video I linked to:

YouTube is to be commended for allowing this video to remain posted.
YouTube should, in the future, resist pressure to remove such videos.
This video provides useful information to Americans about our enemies
in Iraq and the region. What the video portrays is not, by any means,
the total picture. The video, however, does contribute an important
piece of the picture that has been lacking in the media. YouTube is
helping to correct that problem.

This is a complicated issue because the terrorists may be using YouTube to spread lies and misleading images. But our own troops are also using YouTube to tell the stories of their time in Iraq.

My gut tells me that a world in where our eyes are opened to the truth and the lies and we are allowed to determine the truth is a lot better than a world where organizations like Fox News, The New York Times, CBS, and the White House decide for us.

So I am with the commenter. YouTube, Google, MySpace, and everyone else who has these videos should keep them up. And we should watch them.