YouTube and Terror: Is User Flagging the Best Way to Fight Terrorist Propaganda?

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ByABC News
December 13, 2010, 8:28 AM

Dec. 13, 2010— -- Can the will of the people protect the idea of free speech? America's founding fathers said no, but YouTube is going to give it a try.

In an effort to scrub the video site of clips that promote terrorism or extremism, YouTube has announced that it will allow its users to flag propaganda videos for removal.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, the move is a long time in coming. Sen. Joe Lieberman (Independent-Conn.), has been lobbying YouTube to remove such videos for years. He told the LA Times that YouTube's move is "good first step" toward curtailing an effective terror recruitment tool, though lawmakers would prefer for the videos to be prescreened before they're ever even posted.

New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat, has also asked YouTube to remove some videos, specifically videos from Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric now seen as a major al Qaeda leader.

Our question to you today: Is user flagging a good way to remove terror propaganda videos, or is this a threat to free speech?

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