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Horror Thought - Cross the PA School IT mayhem with the YouTube thread

By Deadly Ernest ·
Tags: Off Topic
On the one hand we have a thread about the abuse of power and the misuse of web cams:

On the other hand, we have YouTube getting into trouble in Italy because they abrogated their responsibilities to moderate what's posted to their web site, and a lot of people saying they aren't responsible for checking what goes up on their web site.

Now, for a moment, just imagine the two crossing over so that someone involved in the PA incident has video of a few of the school kids getting dressed in their bedrooms and they put the videos up on YouTube because YouTube are cheapskates and would rather take the legal risks of being sued than spend the money and effort to moderate posts before display.

Now, imagine the said school kid is your fourteen year old daughter who now feels suicidal as everyone in the world has seen her naked. Do you feel that YouTube bears absolutely NO responsibility for the situation after they made available the ability to make this video visible world wide?

Hmm, comments please.

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What, you mean

by seanferd In reply to Horror Thought - Cross th ...

if the video was taken down as soon as Google was notified?

Or, do you mean that incriminating evidence was posted where easily accessible to law enforcement or other authorities?

The fact that something can easily be made public may risk more likely embarrassment for a victim. But it is also evidence that the victim was victimized. And really has little bearing on the fact that something wrong/illicit/illegal was done to generate the content.

I am hardly a Google fan, but I don't know how one can possible hold them responsible or culpable at all. In the U.S., it's called Section 230. (Although frequently, hosting sites respond all too readily to takedown notices, including the DMCA type, when the complainants have no basis on which to issue them.)

Yeah, quite horrifying, though.

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seanferd, my udnerstanding of section230 (if it's the one I've

by Deadly Ernest In reply to What, you mean

been told about) it applies to ISPs and others involved in communications transport. It does NOT apply to web site owners and masters.

Can people be taken to court in the USA for the content of their web site, yes - two cases in recent times, one finished as the person was too sick to fight it out, the other still before the courts - both federal cases. The Red Rose case and the Frank McCoy case - the crux of both cases is that their web sites made it possible for the material on the sites to cross state borders, they, as the site owners and web masters, are being held responsible for the content of the web sites. So US law does hold web site owners responsible for the content, so why should YouTube get a free reign? They shouldn't.

Back to the humiliation case in Italy, the latest information is YouTube we told about it soon after it went up, but it took a court order to have them take it down, and order that took many weeks for them to be served with. To me, that part is symptomatic of YouTube and Google, but not that relevant, it should never have gone up to start with.

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I am unfamiliar with these other cases.

by seanferd In reply to seanferd, my udnerstandin ...

<i>Illegal</i> content is an entirely different matter, which is exactly what it sounds like to me, from the "crossing state lines" comment.

But 230 applies to anyone hosting content: If the content is illegal, of course the site must take it down. If it is libelous, for example, the victim can sue the person making the statement, but cannot sue the site.

From what I remembered, Google took the video down upon notification. If they did not, I could see a case for that. The video may be appalling (which it was), but I don't see how simply hosting it unknowingly can be illegal, or should be illegal.

Even the copyright crowd, with all their power, cannot sue Google for infringing material. It just gets taken down.

I guess I'll have to go back and read up on this, as it was a while ago. But I can't possibly imagine how everything on the internet (or over the phone, or whatever) could be screened effectively.

And again, to me anyway, idiots who want to post their crimes on YouTube or whatever are just giving authorities free evidence. Frankly, I'm sick of the whole surveillance-society business, but if morons want to incriminate themselves in a publicly available medium, I think they should be able to do so. Having the offensive material removed after someone is actually offended only makes sense.

I'll agree, though, that if Google was dragging its feet on pulling down the content, they deserve some sort of judgement against them.

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I didn't have a close look at the US law as it doesn't apply to me,

by Deadly Ernest In reply to I am unfamiliar with thes ...

but someone I know in the US told me they got advice and the intent of 230 is to cover ISPs and web site host services, as they have no direct control on what the web masters put up on the web sites. If something unlawful is put up (and the video in Italy was in breach of the laws) then the web master is responsible for it, not the ISP of the hosting service.

If the view point that YouTube is not liable is valid, then anyone in the US can legally open a web site and encourage people to post information about how to commit crimes and acts of terrorism and not be held liable for what's put up.

From what I've been able to make out, YouTube did take the video down when they got a court order to do so, after ignoring requests from the family to do so.

I disagree with government screening of everything on the Internet, however, the web masters MUST be held responsible for what they allow to be posted to their web sites, so they MUST moderate what others send to be displayed on the web site. This is the main responsibility of a web master of any web site. And they can screen anything before they allow it to go on their web site. If they get too much stuff to handle, then they either have delays while it goes up, or they hire people to help with the screening.

One web site I read a lot of stories at is (I recommend the stuff by Wes Boyd and Dual Writer and Douglas Fox and many more) anyone can get a free account and read most of the stories, anyone can get a free account and send in a story for display on the web site, but nothing goes up on the web site until AFTER one of the site admins has checked the story over and ensured it meets their TOS. This is responsible site management, not the mismanagement YouTube use.

In the other two case I mentioned, both had erotic stories available on their web sites - stories that are legal to write and read in the US. However, a couple of federal prosecutors decided to prosecute because the web sites made them available across state borders and saw that as being interstate distribution and thus the material on the web sites was unlawful. they did NOT go after the authors of all the stories, but the web masters for putting the stories on their web sites. They attacked two people with serious health issues and not much money. There are other web sites that do much the same, and some with material that is worse, but they have money to support them - so the federal prosecutors have not gone for them as they can pay to defend themselves. The Red Rose case was settled out of court due to the case causing a serious decline of the defendant's health. The other one is also causing a health decline, but McCoy is fighting it, the prosecutor involved is upset as it looks like running past when they can get the electoral benefit of a conclusion for them and may mean they can't use it to help their political career.

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