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Wednesday, 14th June 2006

Google Video Feels Wrath of New York State Officials

Google Video Feels Wrath of New York State Officials
Consumer officials from the The New York State Consumer Protection Board have told NY residents that Google Video contains obscene and other objectionable, unfiltered material. Red Herring reports that this comes after "weeks of discussions with Google executives." We said when Google Video first opened to user-generated content that policing it (particularly for copyright) would be a challenge. However, this NY "warning" is about obscene and other objectionable content.

An issue? That's for others to decide. We have no plans to get into that discussion here and now. However, that's not the only issue here. We have a situation where Google feels the FULL HEAT of the warning since they are the "verb." We all know of other video-hosting services. Have NY officials looked at and reviewed YouTube, iFilm, and most recently, Yahoo Video to name just a FEW video-hosting services?) If you're going to warn parents (that's another issue), they would be doing more of a service to let them know that Google is not the only service out there where this type of material might exist. Of course, other issues like copyright, obscenity, and objectionable content might be worthy of discussion, but we need to fully understand what systems and protocols (automated? human? what's being looked for, listened for, etc.) and how they will scale if/when more people begin using these services.

Source: Red Herring

See Also: Full Text of New York State Consumer Protection Board Warning
Note: This warning makes no mention of any other video-hosting service. IT SHOULD. The document also notes that Google's SafeSearch filter is not available for Google Video. SafeSearch is also currently not available for Google Book Search. Finally, the warning points out how material can be removed from Google Video. Again, knowing how other services handle these issues would be very good info to have here.

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