Wow – so there has been a lot going on today. Please forgive the
rambling nature of this post – I am really trying to process all I am learning.
News came this afternoon of the arrest of Colleen LaRose. That real-life name is synonymous with these YouTube screennames:
That’s a heck of a lot of YouTube accounts – and these are only the ones we
know about. I first became aware of her activities at YouTube when she had the BeyondPrincess account. I really just thought she was a blowhard who liked to sound tough on the internet – goodness knows she wouldn’t be the first for that! But apparently, she was more of a threat than I gave her credit for…
When she was in her MZWIIDKAT incarnation, she began actively trying to raise funds for the Mujahideen.
I thought then that she had become bolder, but the news today still came as a surprise to me. Yet another instance where YouTube is the clearinghouse for all sorts of terrorist contact, recruitment and even fund-raising. How far will the next Colleen LaRose have to go before YouTube takes this seriously?
Because of my affiliation with YouTube Smackdown, I have been contacted by a couple news organizations, as have other members of the group. They want to know who we are and what we do and why. They want to know when we became aware of Colleen’s activities (looking back through emails it appears that it was between a year and a half and two years ago) and how we found her.
I want to know why they are just now asking these questions, when we’ve been at this for around two years just trying to get some people to take it seriously. We cheered when Joe Lieberman took up the cause for a couple months and YouTube removed videos like crazy, but as soon as he focused elsewhere, YouTube slipped back into a less responsive role when we flagged terrorist videos.
I have several posts here on my site linking YouTube videos to known terrorist websites and forums – here are just a few of them:
I am just a mom in the midwest. If I can find this stuff, I KNOW the
big guns can find it. One of the news guys I spoke with today asked me how we find the videos to flag. I just had to laugh. I told him that all
you have to do is search YouTube for al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Mujahideen or any number of keywords and you’ll see tons of videos that are in violation of both YouTube’s TOS and Executive Orders.
The next few days will be interesting, that’s for sure.