Feeds

YouTube rolls out Scientology double standard

XenuTV vs. Anonymous Hate Crimes

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

It seems that YouTube has one set of rules for The Church of Scientology and another set for Scientology's critics.

Two weeks ago, YouTube vaporized a 10,000-subscriber-strong channel run by well-known Scientology critic Mark Bunker. His "Xenutv1" deserved to die, the YouTubers said, because they had already axed an earlier account, "Xenutv," where Bunker infringed a few copyrights.

Indeed, YouTube's terms of service clearly say "A user whose account has been terminated is prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube accounts."

But the world's largest video sharer hasn't applied this rule to the brand new channel launched by Scientology itself - and trumpeted with an official Scientology press release. Like Bunker, Scientology had an earlier account erased after it violated site policy.

Are you listening Stephen Colbert?

In March, as reported by The New York Post, Scientology launched a YouTube channel in an attempt to discredit members of Anonymous, a live-wire internet group intent on making life difficult for Tom Cruise and crew. Dubbed the "Scientology Official Report on Anonymous Hate Crimes," the channel identified individual members of the group, describing them as "terrorists."

YouTube doesn't allow videos that broadcast personal information. And the account was soon destroyed.

In a conversation with The Post, a Church spokesperson confirmed the organization was behind the channel. "We absolutely made the videos," they said. "We have researchers that have found these men. When you get death threats and bomb threats directly going after the church, we don't take it lightly."

A similar statement was made by a church minister speaking to The Battle Creek Enquirer after an alleged Anonymous bomb threat.

And yet Scientology is back on YouTube. This time, it's paying for the account. It's also paying for ads on the site, looking to drive some traffic onto its new channel. "Get the facts," the ads say.

YouTube did not respond to requests for comment. But Scientology did. First, we received a phone call from a woman with an otherworldly French accent. "This is the Church," she said. "We may be able to answer your questions. But first we want your email address."

A few minutes later, we received this: "The Church of Scientology has never had YouTube cancel an account, nor made any such request." Which does not answer our questions.

Meanwhile, Mark Bunker is annoyed. "I hope YouTube does the right thing," he told us. "It certainly looks like there's a double standard at work.

"Scientology will say the first account wasn't theirs. But you bet the order came from the top." ®

Bootnote

A tip of the hat to Dawn Olsen, Glosslip, Enturbulation, and someone else.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.