Presidential Campaigns, Web 2.0, and Online Censorship
The use of online social networks like YouTube, Facebook, and MySpace has accelerated the pace of the 2008 presidential campaign. The Politico‘s Ben Smith warns that this comes at a price: the ability of network owners and others to censor political speech.
He notes controversies over the removal of Michelle Malkin videos, the John McCain “bomb Iran” video, and the . More problematic, though, is the ability of a “handful” of anonymous users to “flag” the content or for interested participants to “force material temporarily off the Internet with questionable copyright complaints.”
Such cases are rare and, one imagines, guidelines will emerge to make the process smoother and more transparent. Furthermore, as Smith notes, “The vast network of the Internet may, however, provide a safeguard against any one large site trying to censor political speech. A video posted on a small site might not access the giant communities of YouTube or MySpace, but political bloggers and campaigns could easily direct the members of their own communities to a video posted anywhere.”
via Joshua Levy
Correction: The original referred to Obama’s Facebook site, about which no controversy exists so far as I know.