In arguing against the Government's proposed internet filter, Google Australia has made much of its YouTube video service being a platform for free expression. But the company already filters far more from that platform than Government proposes through its filtering program.
This is not a defence of the Government's internet filtering plans. But let's call it for what it is. And by Google's own standard, YouTube is not a platform for free expression.
Google says in its submission to Government on the filter that it has clear policies for YouTube about what is allowed and what isn't allowed on its YouTube site. Its Community Guidelines outlines its thinking in this area.
Its own guidelines are far broader than the Government's own filtering plans.
Videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, bomb-making are not ok. Gross-out videos of accidents or dead bodies are not ok. Hate speech is not ok. Threats, harassment, stalking - all not ok.
And these limits would sit well with most right-minded people.
But let's look at the process for their removal. If someone sees something on YoutTube and flags it as "inappropriate," Google will review the video and then make a decision about whether or not it remains on the site.
YouTube videos are not removed automatically. That is, it isn't an automated process that the Bright Young Things have developed to take videos off the site.
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