CAN ADL END 'CYBER-HATE' ON YOUTUBE?
By Rev. Ted Pike
16 Dec 08
Many are worried by YouTube's recent announcement of collaboration
with the Anti-Defamation League to eliminate "cyber-hate" on
its website. If YouTube gives ADL too much control, free speech there
may be a thing of the past for critics of Zionism or Christian critics
of homosexuality. Censorship of the internet is especially ominous
when driven by definitions of "prejudice" and "hate" as
twisted as ADL's.
But there is hope. Most non-Zionist internet organizations and servers do not
share ADL's extreme, even paranoid definitions of hatred, anti-Semitism, and
homophobia. If internet content is factual, well-documented, non-racist and not
actually anti-Semitic, ADL will encounter difficulty persuading YouTube to ban
large numbers of politically incorrect users.
YouTube, Cisco, Microsoft, and Google still chafe from public outrage and Congressional
displeasure over cooperation with Chinese bans of controversial internet content.
Perhaps to compensate, these internet giants vehemently oppose Australia's planned
censorship of incoming and outgoing "unlawful" internet content. (See, Australia
to End Internet Freedom) The last thing YouTube wants now is to create a
reputation of Chinese-style censorship. That would only fuel emerging Web 2.0
competitor websites, which could thrive on their boast of allowing freedom of
expression unrestrained by the ADL.
Several years ago, I witnessed the difficulty faced by Jewish complainers to
persuade organizations to agree with their definitions of "hate." Such
Jews, wanting to remove my allegedly hateful film, The Other Israel,
from repeated showing on a Virginia cable access TV station, persuaded the ACLU
to investigate and possibly militate for its removal. ACLU carefully studied
my film and proclaimed it hate-free!
It is to ADL's advantage to involve itself in any (usually well-meaning) organizations'
efforts to filter pornography and violence from families and children. (An example
is ADL's recent liaison with AT&T and the Family Safety Online Institute.)
Yet it is a different matter to persuade these organizations that "hate" includes
criticism of Israel's mistreatment of Palestinians, the Talmud, Jewish control
in US politics and war making, or homosexuality. This could prove beyond ADL's
powers of persuasion or even coercion.
At the recent ADL-sponsored Global Summit on Internet Hate, Christopher Wolf,
head of the ADL-inspired International Network Against Cyber-Hate (INACH), painted
a bleak picture of difficulties faced by ADL in ending free speech online. INACH,
says Wolf, remains frustrated by the internet's still-exploding outreach, universal
invitation to participate, and difficulty to monitor and censor. Thousands of "hate
sites" exist; even if ADL persuades servers to discontinue some of them,
dozens of other servers will host them. Many more spring up daily. Wolf gloomily
said the possibilities of cyber-hate expansion are exponential. He said this
is unlike anything Jewish watchdog groups have ever experienced.
Although I am against bona fide hate, this is good news for lovers of freedom.
It is also good news that Wolf says all INACH and ADL can do is educationally
confront it right now.
That's fair enough. ADL can "educate" through lies and misinformation.
As long as we can educate through facts, truth will prevail. Historically, when
truth is allowed to exist in the sunshine of open unrestrained scrutiny by mankind,
it will eventually dispel lies.
When the internet was first created, many feared the worldwide web would become
an anti-Christ tool to unite the world in global, Orwellian mind-control and
governance. Yes, it has proven a boon to pornographers. But just as the Roman
roads spread Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, so the internet now provides
global resistance to the greatest threat civilization has ever encountered: international
Sometimes after dark and overcast days, the setting sun shines under the clouds
for a few minutes, gloriously irradiating the earth before darkness. By God's
grace, we are experiencing a period of unrestrained opportunity to shed such
light worldwide. Let us use the internet wisely, moderately, in a factual, documented
way. I believe that whatever ADL may do in the highest echelons, or behind the
scenes, God will honor such truth-telling and humanity at large will respect
Especially if we can prevent a U.S. federal hate crimes law from being enacted
this winter, a new era of light and freedom may just be dawning.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative
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