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YouTube Bans Gun and Knife Videos In the UK 632

Posted by timothy
from the long-chain-of-abuses-and-usurpations dept.
PatPending writes with a depressing excerpt from the UK's Metro: "The Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube has decided to introduce the ban [on weapons-related videos] for the UK only amid widespread unease about the increase in knife crime in the country. 'We recognise that there has been particular concern over videos in the UK that involve showing weapons with the aim of intimidation, and this is one of the areas we are addressing,' a YouTube spokesperson said. 'I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world,' she said."
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YouTube Bans Gun and Knife Videos In the UK

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  • by ichbineinneuben (1065378) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:53AM (#25090613)
    Guns and knives don't kill people. Videos kill people.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by flayzernax (1060680)

      Vidoes dont kill people, Youtube kills people

    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:02AM (#25090649) Journal

      Knives are this month's hysteria in the UK. That's not to say there isn't a problem with knife use in the UK. And it isn't to say that videos on YouTube can't be used for intimidation of specific people and so should be removed in such cases. But one day, the media suddenly went into a feeding frenzy, police chiefs were trotting out their most ridiculous arrays or seized weapons (including a photo of a Star Trek replica weapon at one point) and Home Secretaries were trying to look all grave and serious talking about the knife epidemic sweeping our nation.

      It may be a serious issue. But it's definitely something that Labour are trying to use for political gain and as a fear stick.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:28AM (#25090809)

        But one day, the media suddenly went into a feeding frenzy, police chiefs were trotting out their most ridiculous arrays or seized weapons (including a photo of a Star Trek replica weapon at one point) and Home Secretaries were trying to look all grave and serious talking about the knife epidemic sweeping our nation.

        I'm looking forward to the upcoming Brick Epidemic, the following Cobblestone Conundrum, and finally the Pointy-stick Problem.

        Before it is all over you English won't be allowed possession of anything harder than mushy peas. I've no idea how you'll manage to cook them or mash them for that matter because anything sufficiently rigid enough to cook them in or mash them with will have been made illegal to possess.

        Turing word: disarm
        (Sometimes I swear they're added a lexical analyzer.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by 1u3hr (530656)
          I'm looking forward to the upcoming Brick Epidemic, the following Cobblestone Conundrum, and finally the Pointy-stick Problem.

          If rocks and sticks are just as lethal and effective as guns and knives, as you claim, then why do you Americans insist you have to have the right to carry handguns, assault rifles, etc, etc? Just put a pointy stick in your back pocket.

          Don't be a hypocrite: Guns and knives are designed to kill people (before you start sneering about butter knives, pop guns, etc; just assume the wo

          • by damburger (981828) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @05:34AM (#25091525)

            There have already been calls in this country to ban kitchen knives with a point, I shit you not. Some chefs have said that you can use knives without points for most things anyway, and that pointless knives are the norm in China and they do OK.

            Others point out that gang violence in China simply involves fatal hackings instead of fatal stabbings.

          • by ultranova (717540) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:03AM (#25091653)

            Don't be a hypocrite: Guns and knives are designed to kill people (before you start sneering about butter knives, pop guns, etc; just assume the words are defined sensibly as the lethal kind of offensive weapon). Say you want to carry them because you want to be able to kill people who annoy or frighten you.

            I have never once in my life seen a knife that was designed to be a weapon. I have seen and own plenty which most certainly can be used as such, such as my meat cleaver. Of course, if I wanted to kill someone with a bladed weapon, I'd pick my axe, which should be able to split your skull just as easy as a log for my fireplace. And I regularly carry a sharp knife or scissors with pointed ends around with me, because I regularly find myself needing to cut things cleanly, or to simply clean the space below my fingernails.

            Your assertion is ridiculous, and you are either a liar or an idiot to have made it.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by kklein (900361)

            Say you want to carry them because you want to be able to kill people who annoy or frighten you. Don't claim they are no more dangerous than "pointy sticks".

            --Except that:

            1) He didn't claim anything.

            2) He didn't even imply that they were equal. He pointed out a "slippery slope" problem, moving from the most obviously dangerous, to the ludicrously least dangerous--his point being that if we try to eliminate dangerous items from society, it gets pretty silly pretty quickly.

            Please make sure you understand the rhetorical structure of the post you're replying to before you jump down someone's throat.

        • by Warbothong (905464) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:29PM (#25094317) Homepage

          I'm looking forward to the upcoming Brick Epidemic, the following Cobblestone Conundrum, and finally the Pointy-stick Problem.

          He's got a board with a nail in it!

      • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @06:21AM (#25091709) Homepage
        To be fair it's been "this month's hysteria" for awhile.

        The UK does have a problem with kids stabbing each other but to be honest I think the news reporting on it makes it worse more than any Youtube video.

        The news makes it seems like it's a bigger deal (if everyone is doing it then I should be) and it shows you a kid can make national headlines quite easily and people are more obsessed with fame these days.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah I've never understood this obsession with banning weapons or even pictures of weapons on the left which I consider myself a part of BTW. If the state disarms FIRST maybe, until then fuggit about it. Standing a-prori naked and defenseless against governments that have murdered literally hundreds of millions of people in the last hundred years is just not very bright. And to make it a thought crime is even more appalling.

      Orwell was just off by 20 years, that's all.

  • The link in the summary goes to "http://slashdot.org/ahref=". Nice.
  • by compumike (454538) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:57AM (#25090633) Homepage

    You know, I'm a bit torn here.

    I think it's really oppressive when governments do things like telling a company that they'd have to do something like this (which the government did *not* do)... But it's almost scarier that they're doing it on their own initiative as a company. It's like one of those many situations in which someone will self-regulate to a stronger degree than is necessary just to present the appearance that outside regulation is not necessary. I certainly believe that Google/YouTube has the right to do this, but not necessarily that they should. So is it better that this came from within rather than from external forces?

    --
    Hey code monkey... learn electronics! Powerful microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timmarhy (659436)
      it's to stop idiots posting stuff showing them knifing people/things and rob them of their 15 minutes of fame. i totally agree with it. the internet is NOT a ticket to do as you please.
    • Actually, if a company does this on its own because they are concerned about it, that's called "being responsible." If a government requires it via an official censorship policy, then I have a problem with it. Ideally it should work this way, with corporate entities being sensitive to the needs of of the communities they do business in, so governments don't feel the need to intervene and implement sweeping, draconian limitations on everyone. You can still film yourself practicing your nunchuck skills or sla
    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      I am going to see if I can single-handedly cause an increase in crimes involving the use of hammers and soccer balls. Just because I want to see the headline when those items are banned from youtube.

      (Just playing devil's advocate here)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:58AM (#25090635)
    VIDEO of weapons scares them? Do they ban Schwarzenegger movies too?
    • by MobyDisk (75490) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:27AM (#25090799) Homepage

      personally know several people who have been robbed using Arnold Schwarzenegger as a deadly weapon. They call the victim's "California Taxpayers" :)

      (jk - I think he has been lowering taxes)

  • by Kingrames (858416) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @01:58AM (#25090637)
    Nobody knows how to use a knife until they first search for it on youtube.
  • 'knife crime?' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:03AM (#25090653)

    pure idiocy.

    no one seems to realize that there is no such thing as "gun" or "knife" crime. there is crime, and the most convenient tool to carry it out with for threatening people and causing harm. where guns are available this is the tool, where guns are not it's knives or bludgeoning implements.

    'knife crime' is going up because that's what is available.

    i've gotten a hell of a lot of decent information about my firearm from youtube (if you keep it to videos featuring nationally recognized figures you can't get steered too wrong, like todd jarett).

    this is just a plain stupid move on youtube's part.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by piojo (995934)

      I disagree. It's a culture problem. It seems that violence is becoming more "cool" in the UK of late, and Youtube does not want to be a part of that.

  • Cooking knives (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lucky75 (1265142) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:05AM (#25090663)
    What about videos describing how to cut food properly? Are they going to ban all the videos that teach you how to cook too? Maybe TV shows or movies/trailers with violence in them? Yep, it's those darn youtube videos that are really causing all the violence.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Videos of weapons are banned but pedophilia and children exploitation is OK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqIPFTF7JeY [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by hax0r_this (1073148)
      What is that a video of? I live in America, I don't care to follow it and find out whether or not I'll be arrested.
  • Really increased? (Score:5, Informative)

    by duck0 (1073338) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:08AM (#25090695)

    I remember hearing about this on BBC's radio4...

    A quick search later found this article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7421534.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    According to the British Crime Survey (BCS), overall violent crime has decreased by 41% since a peak in 1995.
    Knives are used in about 8% of violent incidents, according to the BCS, a level that has largely remained the same during the past decade.

    However:

    But the BCS figures do not include under-16s, something which the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced this month would change.

  • Isn't it obvious what the real problem is? These videos implicitly question the effectiveness of the UK police state and are, thus, are doubleplusbad. After all, it makes no sense to have the telescreen speaking ill of big brother now does it?

    I implore those who question the usefulness of the second amendment here in the U.S. to take a hard look at what's happening in the U.K. today. The slippery slope is very real.

    -Grym

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by OriginalArlen (726444)
      Oh, give me a fucking break. I'm a member / supporter of a number of civil lib type orgs here in the UK, and we certainly do have our share of stupid, counter-productive, illiberal and potentially-authoritarian laws. But, really, I assure you that (apart from the insane law about protesting within a half-mile of Parliament, and similar special cases), free speech is really not a problem over here. "questioning the effectiveness of the UK police state"?! You've obviously never read the British tabloid press;
  • ... that censoring YouTube will have a significant effect on crime?

    Study after study have shown no verifiable link between violence in the media and violence in real life. In fact, there is some evidence that there is a negative correlation, though small.

    So what's the point? "Let's do anything, even if it's wrong!" ??
  • If you can't find your knife fix on youtube, there are plenty other clones of it out there to find it. Not to mention that these clone sites are often run by people who don't really give a flying **** about internet users outside their country of jurisdiction. This is all just a big PR stunt. Whether it will have a positive or negative effect will be up to the users (and not the shareholders, they are happy with whatever Gootube does as long as it makes them money.)
  • What's the word for failing to draw a distinction between a representation of something and the thing being representing?

    'I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world,

    Because whatever that word is, this is it:

    If I make this doll that looks like you, and use a piece of your hair, I can jab it with pins and you'll be injured. If we remove pictures of knifes from the internet, knife crime will fall. If we allow depictions of knives on the internet, knife crime will rise.

    Perfectly insane.

  • I'll happily stick to America, where I can legally defend myself with the pistol in my pocket.

    • I'll happily stick to America, where I can legally defend myself with the pistol in my pocket.

      And unfortunately, you might need to, since every criminal on every American street knows where to get a gun on the black market, with no background check or paper trail. If we didn't have so many handguns, we might not need so many handguns. (Hunting weapons and military rifles are a different story, and I won't go there - handguns are the real danger.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'll happily stick to America, where I can legally defend myself with the pistol in my pocket.

        And unfortunately, you might need to, since every criminal on every American street knows where to get a gun on the black market, with no background check or paper trail. If we didn't have so many handguns, we might not need so many handguns. (Hunting weapons and military rifles are a different story, and I won't go there - handguns are the real danger.)

        Because bans on things like drugs and, in the past, alcohol worked so well, didn't it? Those mentioned criminals are breaking several laws acquiring those guns. All the paper trail and background check requirements did exactly what to stop that? It seems, correct me if I'm wrong, that you seem to be advocating more of the same ineffective regulations and laws. Thus, the law abiding will be disarmed, or hampered, and the criminal element will simply laugh and carry on business as usual. See Chicago, NYC, and

  • So I guess all of the awesome surveillance the UK is imposing upon its citizens [bbc.co.uk] is doing much for crime...why not take them all out and put the money into a national Internet firewall? Maybe THEN humans will have only happy thoughts.

  • by _Shad0w_ (127912)

    Does that mean I can't post re-enactment videos then? Even though all the firearms I use for that are licensed and legally held...

  • Awesome idea! (Score:5, Informative)

    by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:21AM (#25090767)
    This will work great, until every kid in the UK finds that he can replace the "uk" in "uk.youtube.com" with "www" and see awesome, inspirational stuff like:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEoiu2Coxrc [youtube.com] or

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IHQqW8zOSk [youtube.com]

  • by Skapare (16644) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:26AM (#25090785) Homepage

    Is it common to disallow fictional work, such as movies, that have guns or knives used as intimidation? YouTube is a common place for budding movie producers to show short films, too. But if this kind of thing is censored in UK, then I guess YouTube doing it is going along with the flow.

  • by syousef (465911) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:28AM (#25090811) Journal

    ...and YouTube becomes a much less interesting place. All you'll have left is a bunch of gossip videos by teens (oh wait those could be controvertial too) and a bunch of gaming video captures (isn't that controvertial too given the copyright issue over the game content). Well we can always just show people at Sunday school (oh no we can't - what's more controvertial than religion).

    Seriously all this is is pandering. YouTube knows that most interesting content has a controversial element and that almost anything could be offensive to someone. It's just those who shout loudest that are too big a pain in the behind to bother butting heads with so they comply with these demands. (Ah the irony of giving in to terrorism, when the subject is weapons and violence).

    The sensible and sane way to deal with this is simply to remove videos that contain illegal content (and bring themt to the attention of the authorities). Wouldn't most of the offending videos with guns and knives be in some way illegal? If not they should wait for the law to be modified.

     

  • by DrBuzzo (913503) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:35AM (#25090843) Homepage
    Does a video of someone eating a steak get banned for having a sharp knife in it? Does the knife have to even be sharp? What about someone spreading butter on something?

    Surely anyone who cuts rope or whittles a twig would be banned, but is it okay to have a Swiss army knife if you never take out the blade on camera and just use the cork screw and the screw driver?

    Also, are scissors allowed? How about razors? Are electric razors allowed? exacto knives? Scalpels? Pointy sticks?
  • by Tink2000 (524407) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:35AM (#25090845) Homepage Journal

    They can just replace them with walkie-talkies.
    Right?
    RIGHT?!?

  • by ColaMan (37550) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @02:40AM (#25090863) Homepage Journal

    'I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world,' she said.

    First it's guns,
    then it's knives,
    then it's drunken louts with their angry fists,
    then it's "unsavoury behaviour" in the street,
    then it's public demonstrations/rallies,
    then it's any dissent at all.

    All for the good of the people, of course.

  • WTFPOST (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sporkme (983186) * on Sunday September 21, 2008 @03:20AM (#25091027) Homepage
    The link in the article leads to a Slashdot 404. Wtf

    The link is this [metro.co.uk]

    What a noodle-spined move on the part of Google! If only UN language were so effective on the rogue nations of the world!

    "I would like to see other internet service providers follow suit to reinforce our message that violence will not be tolerated either on the internet or in the real world," said Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who has also stated that police should restrict photography by citizens. Indeed, why not suppress free speech in in all ways in Britain and in the rest of the world, you dunce? It would certainly decrease violence!

    The hysterical myths about computer game violence have in many cases been debunked, as recently discussed [slashdot.org], and why are YouTube videos any different? Movies, games and books which incite dissent are next on the worldwide chopping block, folks! To see Google assume the position on this debate, which includes no specific legislation, is a grim forecast on government intervening in our daily lives with their friendly companies on Politically Correct leashes opening our bedroom doors for them.

    The cheeky bastards.
  • by Karellen (104380) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @03:20AM (#25091029) Homepage

    Knife crime has not increased in the UK.

    Reporting of knife crime in the UK has increased dramatically. It just happens to be what the papers happen to be focusing on this year. Last year it was the McCann thing. A few years ago it was the great paedophile threat, which came about due to one or two high-profile cases featuring photogenic young girls. Before that it was ... thankfully I can't remember.

    Anyway, the papers finally decided they needed new "fear" stories to run and grab headlines with. Knife crime appears to be the one they're rallied around this time.

    You are still much, much more likely to die in a car accident than to be stabbed to death by a "teenage yob". Doesn't make good headlines though or instill the same level of fear though, does it?

  • by plusser (685253) on Sunday September 21, 2008 @03:42AM (#25091137)

    The main problem within the UK is that over the last few decades we have decided that we have rights rather than understand that responsibilities go with those rights. We have always had a "thug" (or gang) culture somewhere in our society, but we have never had the leadership to sort out these problems directly, instead we blame ethic minorities, drugs, gambling and any other area of perceived illegal activity, all of which are indirectly related to thug culture. However, we never appear to properly examine the problem because we are too quick to blame and not to understand.

    I have a very good example. I was involved in a serious car accident on Friday, quite frankly I should not be here, yet alone sitting at the computer uninjured. The accident was caused by the car I was travelling in (being driven by my future father in-law) was side-swiped by a left hand drive Portuguese lorry trying to more into the middle lane of the motorway, without realising that we were there. The car spun, hit the soft embankment, rolled twice and dug itself in upright on all four wheels.

    There is a known problem with these lorries in that they have a massive blind spot. Unfortunately, knowing our xenophobic press, if the actually bother to do their research as this problem is quite serious, they would seek to ban every foreign lorry on British roads, even though Irish lorries are Right Hand Drive and British and Irish lorries cold potentially have the same blind stop when driven in Continental Europe, as they drive on the right instead of the left.

    I myself don't blame the lorry driver in so much that he was doing his job. I do feel that the company that hired the lorry and haulier hold responsibility for attempting to cut costs.

    For want of a better expression, there is technology in a £30 mobile phone (i.e. camera and screen) that could be used as an effective blind spot mirror. In addition, many cars today have reversing sensors that could be employed to warn lorry drivers that the lane next to them is not clear.

    Now what has this got to do with knife crime? not a lot you would think? Well actually it has. Sadly you are more likely to die at the hands of a car than a knife in the UK. On that level will You Tube be banning the viewing of any car on their website? Of course not. Cars (and I suppose lorries) can be used to kill and so can knives, but then knives are even more vital to society than cars; you can't cut your food without a knife, but you can walk instead of drive.

    So, when are we answer the question properly - Why do people wish to carry knives for self defence?

    • Well let me respond, being a professional lorry driver.
      Here's a fact - it's just as bad in a right hand drive in the UK. And the only time it's dangerous, is when a car drives at the same speed while along side instead of overtaking properly. Add to this the normal car drivers habit of driving right up close to the back of the trailer before suddenly swinging out to overtake. One minute your mirrors are clear and you can see about 5 or six cars at varying distances behind you. You gauge the time is right, c

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