Elgar Law, Technology and Society series
Edited by Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub
Chapter 4: YouTube from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe: Tyrannize Locally, Censor Globally
Hannibal Travis 4.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter attempts to map global patterns by which local tyrannies become sources of potentially global infringements on freedom of expression, particularly but not exclusively on the YouTube website. It illustrates certain parallels between the efforts to force copyright filters on YouTube and the Web in the West, and to harden the Great Firewalls of China, Arabia, and Persia in the East. 4.2 YOUTUBE AS SUPERNODE OF GLOBAL ONLINE FREEDOM YouTube has transformed the nature and quality of the flow of information across the globe.1 No longer is a subscription to CNN or Al Jazeera required to keep up to date on foreign elections, wars, or singing competitions. Incredibly varied videos and stories are available on YouTube, from 1 See, e.g. Jim Macnamara, The 21st Century Media (R)Evolution: Emergent Communication Practices 163 (2010); Craig Allen Smith, Presidential Campaign Communication: The Quest for the White House 164 (2010); Ryan Lizza, The YouTube Election, N.Y. Times, Aug 20, 2006, at pg. 1 www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/weekinreview/20lizza.html; Jessica Ramirez, The Big Picture, The Daily Beast, Nov 10, 2008, www. thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/11/09/the-big-picture.html; Ian Ward, Labor’s Pitch to Generation YouTube, 27 Soc. Alternatives 11 (2010); Lindsay Zimmerman, 2008 US Presidential Election: Persuasive YouTube Interactions About War, Health Care, and the Economy, Georgia State University Digital Archive (2009), http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent. cgi?article=1066&context=psych_theses. 76 PAGER 9780857931337 PRINT.indd 76 11/06/2012 14:09 YouTube from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe 77 breaking news to leaked combat footage, to music videos, to mash-ups.2 YouTube videos range from...
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