Banning Videos? Really?

A few days ago I was on and read this post about British television banning an Amanda Palmer video because it made light of religion, abortion and date rape.  Granted, it does use a catchy pop melody to describe the events but any doofus with a 5th grade education can see this was done with tongue firmly in cheek.  In fact, Amanda herself writes about it on her own blog.  Check out the video and see for yourself.

Now, while I do have an issue with censorship as most freedom-loving people do, my biggest WTF question was for the UK outlets that actually banned the video.  Have they learned nothing?  The surest way to get an unwanted or controversial subject into as many faces as possible is to ban it.  As soon as I read about it, I immediatly wanted to see it.

Which goes to my second WTF moment.  In this age of digital distribution over countless mediums, is banning still effective?  Afterall, I didn’t have to do some super sneaky computer work to find “Oasis”.  I just went to YouTube and found it.  I mean come on governments, if you’re going to repress something, at least bring your A game.

Even as I was thinking about writing this post yesterday, a news story came on NPR about Tibetans distributing protest songs as ringtones on their cellphones.  So even one of the most repressive regimes on the planet can’t completely stop something if it wants to get out there.


  1. I watched the video after I read it was banned. It’s not all that great. Its just so easy to find banned videos on Youtube!

  2. I’m not for banning material, but I see why it might have been done in this case. It makes fun of the so-called “fundamentalist Christians.” I promise you that had it made fun of fundamentalist Muslims, it would have been yanked as “offensive” or even “hate speech.”

    If you’re gonna protect one religious group from offense, you should apply the same standard to other religious (or whatever) groups.

    A better solution is to let offensive material be heard regardless of whether someone is bothered by it. Freedom of speech guarantees my right to offend you should I chose to do that.

  3. I don’t think the double standard applies. I mean look at Jeff Dunham. Half his show is built on an Arab Muslim puppet that blew himself up. I watched it once, found it offensive and now know in the future to avoid his work. But that hasn’t stopped him from having sold-out shows, TV specials and top-selling comedy albums.

    The main point I was trying to make though, is that there are too many ways to distribute materials for that kind of government censorship to be effective so why even try it.

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