Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nasty Work

Another piece from the Sindo, copied as per usual from a British rag, tells of the shock engendered by the appearance of footage of US soldiers being killed in action on YouTube. Being a bit sceptical about the article, mainly because it was so vague and badly written, I did a search on YouTube and there is indeed a lot of nasty stuff involving the deaths of US military in Iraq. There is nothing new about such stuff being posted on the Internet but that such a mainstream site as YouTube allows it, and moderates it only by a system of flagging as 'inappropriate', is worrying. Whatever your views about the war (and mine are that it started as a criminal enterprise and has continued as a mad, suicidal and ultimately crushing one) the families of the dead soldiers deserve more respect from YouTube. That the families of Iraqi victims (a lot more numerous) also deserve this is irrelevant, other than to say that videos of their deaths should not be shown either. There are few people that watch this stuff for reasons other than sick voyeurism; if people want to post this elsewhere, let them. The anti-war cause is not going to be helped by such postings. What is most staggering is the hypocrisy of YouTube, who forbid any sex or nudity on their site (and even relatively innocuous links to adult websites are flagged as possibly inappropriate). It is a lot like the US, and Hollywood then. Sex bad, violence OK. The families of US soldiers that have been killed in the prosecution of an illegal, immoral war deserve more from their country than this skewed system of values.