Religion is one of those topics I normally don’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole. I’ve found that no one ever agrees when it comes to this topic. Heck, I’ve seen Christians arguing with one another over the meaning of a particular passage of scripture, so you know no good can come of a debate with an Atheist.
Having said that, I was very disturbed to learn that some YouTube staffer decided to ban a member on religious grounds. Nick Gisburne, an outspoken member of the YouTube community recently posted a video comprised solely of a slide show of quotes taken from the Qur’an. All of the quotes deal with the negative aspects of being a non-believer – such as going to hell, being killed and burning for eternity.
Clearly this video illustrates just one side of the discussion, and I would imagine an appropriate Islamic response would have been a video depicting passages of love and peace from the same book. But no one had the chance to issue such a response.
Nick has asked that people help him with an appeal to YouTube for the reinstatement of his account, and it seems to me that all people who value freedom of speech – regardless of religious vantage point – should speak up now, or possibly forever hold your peace…
As a result I have sent the following message to customer support:
I believe it is highly inappropriate for YouTube to ban Nick Gisburne for posting religious content. (See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRPVsamLaKk)
As a division of Google I would expect you to uphold the companies mission: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
After the removal of his account I downloaded and viewed the video in question from Nick’s Web site (http://nick.gisburne.com/). Nick has provided an insightful view of passages from the QurÃ¢â‚¬â„¢an, which I am certain many Muslims could have taken the time to explain for the better understanding of all. The removal of this, as well as his other posts, has now left me without access to a view that I am sure Nick shares with many others.
Since YouTube has decided to begin applying wholesale censorship, I am fearful that YouTube will continue to remove honest religious viewpoints, be they from atheists, Christians, Muslims, or any of the other beliefs.
I would ask that you immediately reinstate Nick’s user accounts as well as the video content contained therein. Religion and its various viewpoints are very much a part of the human experience and, unless dangerous or excessively offensive, YouTube should not filter content in this manner.
Thank you for your attention to this matter,
Here is Nick’s short video post about this experience and how it has made him feel:
EDIT: Nick’s account and video was deleted again, so here is his new commentary. If you notice that it’s been removed again just drop a comment below and I’ll go find it again.
And here is the video which sparked the whole issue, hopefully it won’t get banned again:
It’s quite interesting because Nick was not a “prominent” figure on YouTube, and now this incident may very well thrust him into the spotlight and result in far more people seeing his video than ever would have had he been left alone. As an example… well, just look at this post.