Turkey blocks YouTube
And France bans happy slapping
Turkey has taken steps to prevent access to YouTube after a video insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, was posted on the site.
Turk Telecom took the action on orders from a court. The telco said it would lift the ban, with the approval of the court, if the offending video was removed. YouTube has seen a violent slanging match between Greeks and Turks with dozens of response videos posted.
Paul Doany, head of Turk Telecom, said: "We are not in the position of saying that what YouTube did was an insult, that it was right or wrong. A court decision was proposed to us, and we are doing what that court decision says."
The original video was posted by a user called Stavraetos. Greeks and Turks, and the odd Armenian, used the video sharing site to chuck insults at each other. The mainstream Turkish media took up the row.
Insulting Ataturk is a criminal offence in Turkey punishable by prison.
In another blow for the brave new world of user-generated content, France is banning anyone except reporters from videoing violent acts. The legislation, proposed by Nicholas Sarkozy, aims to stop incidents of happy slapping by imposing big fines on anyone filming such attacks.
But the law is so widely drafted that several bloggers and Reporters Sans Frontieres have pointed out it could be used to stop genuine reporting.
Macworld noted that the law came exactly 16 years after an amateur videographer filmed the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. Under the new law French police should be protected from such an invasion of privacy. ®
This is crazy
OK, so it's illegal to film and post acts of violence in France.
Aside from all the worthwhile social aspects of having "citizen reporters" around let's consider the specific offense of happy slapping.
1. These juveniles are dumb enough to provide and distribute evidence of them committing assaults. So why stop them from doing so?
2. You have gangs doing this, and you require a new law on filming violence to bust them? Can't you arrest the guy behind the camera for being an accessory to aggravated assault, and possibly robbery, racketeering, disturbing the peace and who knows what other crimes related to their actions?
3. These juveniles are anti-social enough that they get their jollies by wandering around in packs beating people up, filming the action and posting it on the internet. In part, this is their rebellion against French society. Do you really think that they will stop any of these activities because that society now tells them that it is illegal to post these films? If anything, they will increase this activity to get more "street cred" and to further "stick it to the man" (the man in question being Sarkozy or the Gendarmerie--take your pick).
South Central would be a better place today
Had it not been for that video, the cops of LA would still be greatly respected in South Central and the area would still be the prosperous part of LA it once was. What a disruptive criminal.
Now back to my crack pipe.
Gotta hope you don't have CCTV in France
Or you could be in big trouble if there is a fight within its field of view!