Wednesday, April 1, 2009

James Randi Education Foundation suspended by YouTube

YouTube is rapidly becoming a bastion of cowards who kowtow to religious extremists. In fairness, they're not the only ones out there who still consider free speech a quaint notion--for other people. Here are some examples...

  • A guitarist whose parodies of other world guitar players got banned for copyright infringement.
  • Banned in Thailand: because some people were disrespectful to the king.
  • Banned in Turkey: For users being disprespectful to their George Washington, Mustafa Kamel Ataturk (They sed hee had duh gay!!!!11!1!)
And this is just a sampling. The final two were the work of governments, not YouTube itself. But the Tube is hardly innocent.

The most recent victim is the James Randi Education Foundation. Named after the famed magician and skeptic, the Foundation is a bastion of critical thinking and scientific endeavor, and puts on any number of excellent programs, particularly The Amaz!ng Meeting, or TAM for short. From Wikipedia:
"Since 2003, the JREF has annually hosted The Amaz!ng Meeting (TAM), a gathering of scientists, skeptics, atheists. Perennial speakers include Christopher Hitchens, Penn & Teller, Phil Plait, Michael Shermer and Julia Sweeney.

Richard Dawkins and Joe Nickell appeared at the 2005 TAM 3."

For those of you not in the loop, that's a who's who of the most notable speakers in the freethinking community. Other invitees include astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse-Tyson, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, PZ Myers of Pharyngula fame...I could go on forever.

Well, the JREF had some Amaz!ng (sorry) video clips on YouTube, all of which have been taken down because of a suspended account. Nobody, including the JREF, has an explanation.

I suspect creationist scum. (but I repeat myself).

And I know I'm jumping to conclusions, but that's what blogs are for. And I can't tell you how tough it is to express a complaint in 350 characters, which is the allotted amount for a YouTube protest. But I managed...

“Please restore the account of the James Randi Education Foundation. And please consider that your company is rapidly gaining a reputation as being too reactionary in responding to radicals wishing to suppress free speech. I can’t help but think that other video sites will gain a competitive advantage over you eventually if that persists.”

Upside, hopefully more people will see YouTube as the fraidy-cat, making-money-is-our-only-priority organization it is, and start using other sites like Vimeo. And, maybe, a lot more publicity for the JREF, which is truly a kick-ass group of people.

Via Pharyngula.

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