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Public Pressure Works: YouTube Allows PA Watchdog

Massive public pressure via Tweets and e-mails convince YouTube that the PA watchdog site it shut down for “incitement” actually exposes PA hatred.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/20/2010, 10:47 AM / Last Update: 12/20/2010, 12:38 PM

PMW screenshot and Israel

Massive public pressure via ‘Tweets” and e-mails have convinced YouTube to reinstate the Palestinian Authority watchdog site Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which had been accused by YouTube of spreading incitement. The pressure convinced YouTube that PMW was actually exposing PA hatred.

YouTube banned PMW on Sunday, apparently after an anti-Israel movement bombarded Google with complaints. The tactic backfired because the closure prompted thousands of e-mails and Tweets that convinced YouTube it had mad a mistake, PMW director Dr. Itamar Marcus told Israel NationalNews.

“YouTube decided that because we expose Palestinian Authority incitement calling for genocide, that is hate speech, and they closed down the entire account,” he said. “There was tremendous pressure Sunday night, and people were tweeting every minute and calling Google offices.”

The reason given by YouTube for shutting down PMW’s main video account, PALWATCH, was that it had “violated YouTube terms of use” by propagating hate speech. The account was terminated “due to repeated or severe violations of our Terms of Use,” with specific examples of videos listed -- all of which were simply re-broadcasted from official Palestinian Authority government sources:

Dr. Marcus explained that Google, which operates YouTube, is “impossible” to reach, but has a special address for the media. People used that address, even though they were unable to provide Google with their credentials. Google got the message that there was massive opposition to the closure, Marcus said.

“Some people told Google that you cannot stop hate speech if you do not expose it. On the other hand, YouTube does not close down Hamas and Al-Qaeda videos" calling for the murder of Jews," Dr. Marcus commented.

One source said that YouTube automatically closes down a site if it receives enough complaints, which apparently is what happened following an anti-Israel campaign. YouTube then investigated and realized the true aims of PMW, which has be come increasingly influential on Congressmen and other legislators in the Western world.

Dr. Marcus explained that anti-Israel movements are constantly trying to interfere with PMW’s success in exposing Palestinian Authority incitement. He said that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) once sent a letter to the Yale University president against his speaking on campus. A similar condemnation was sent to Congress after Dr. Marcus spoke at the Capitol.