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YouTube Deals with Censorship, Dueling Bloggers

YouTube recently began cracking down on questionable content in an attempt to appease advertisers, but now the video-sharing site is incurring the wrath of bloggers who think it may be going too far.

YouTube allows users to flag videos that they feel are inappropriate and bring them to the attention of the video-sharing site for possible removal. Recently, YouTube deleted a video from political blogger Michelle Malkin, although the video had been on the site for some time, the New York Times reports. The move prompted Malkin's supporters to flock to the site to flag content that they found offensive.

The tit-for-tat flagging of videos has brought to the fore the difficult censorship task that YouTube faces. If the site is too lax, it risks allowing offensive and even illegal content to stay, which could lead to lawsuits, and fewer visitors. On the other hand, if it begins removing content based on the actions of bloggers or other groups, it risks removing too many videos, alienating its community of video contributors.

As GaijinBiker, an American blogger living in Tokyo, and a fan of Ms. Malkin, noted on Thursday, "A tit-for-tat censorship battle only leaves all of us less informed."

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