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Lieberman Wants Google to Flag Terrorist Activity on Its Blog Site

Just as you can flag inappropriate material on YouTube and content that could be related to terrorism is banned, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has asked Google for the same policy on its blogging platform Blogger.

Talking Points Memo obtained Lieberman's letter to Google that expresses his "disappointment" that Blogger doesn't "expressly ban terrorist material" or provide a "flag feature." The drive for making this request seems to be the recent arrest of Jose Pimentel, who built a pipe bomb to be used against military members and posted bomb making instructions and extremist positions on his blogsite hosted by Google. Here's some content from his site that Lieberman called out in his letter:

"People have to understand that America and its allies are legitimate targets in warfare. This includes facilities such as army bases, police stations, political facilities, embassies, FBI and CIA buildings, private and public airports, all kinds of buildings where money is being made to help fund the war."

Lieberman makes his case to Google that many blog sites are hosting material of "homegrown terrorists."

As of Tuesday this week, Talking Points Memo notes that Pimentel's site (www.trueislam1.com) was still active, although as of today, Friday, it has been taken down. But The Verge reports that as of Thursday, Google had not responded to Lieberman's overall request for the "Blogger kill switch."

CNET reports that in 2008, Lieberman was responsible for calling to Google's attention that its YouTube platform wasn't doing enough to prevent violent or terrorist-related information on its site. This resulted in a change to YouTube's Community Standards to include a ban on terrorist content. But TG Daily considers enabling flagging on the blog sites as censorship and recalls the time when Lieberman was advocating for what many dubbed "an Internet kill switch":

It sounds like Lieberman supports outright limitations on free speech. Of course, this isn't the first time the senator has made a case for government approved filtering of the Internet. In 2010, he argued that an Internet "Kill Switch" in the US is no big deal because China already has one.

CNET posted this video to give readers a sense of the type of content that is blocked on YouTube, alluding to how a change in policy could effect Blogger should Google decide to allow flagging:

 As the video states, YouTube staff reviews flagged videos 24/7 and many are often acted upon within an hour.

 

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