A fraudulent light-weight.
Writing in his Monday column, Helsingin Sanomat EIC, Mikael Pentikäinen takes issue with Google’s decision to keep the charming but low budget 15 or so minute video titled: ”The innocence of Muslims” on its YouTube channel. The paper periodically publishes an opinion section (raati) in which Finnish celebrities weigh in on any given issue that has hit the front pages of the media, this time it was about Google’s decision to leave the film online.
What’s interesting, but not surprising (in a country with a long history of practicing self censorship) is the editor’s unequivocal stance that if he was in charge of Google, he would have taken the film down. He uses the ”freedoms with certain responsibilities” meme, that he thinks cleverly gets himself of the hook.
The piece, printed here only in part due to length, is worth going through, because it reveals the mindset of the tepid gatekeepers within the liberal media. They’re only for free speech until all hell breaks loose, then you can’t count on them for anything, in fact, they’ll even side with the enemies of free speech for the sake of not appearing bigoted or racist.
NOTE: This is a TT translation.
The tossing in of the white towel on free speech, by Mikael Pentikäinen
Helsingin Sanomat: This week the HS jury had to discuss whether Google, the search engine and advertisement giant should censor the Muhmmed video?
What’s in questsion is a video, which was deceitfully published. The actors claimed, that the hadn’t a clue to what the film was actually about. A petty criminal living in the United States was behind the blasphemous video.
The HS jury, comprised from a group of a hundred representatives from the sciences, art, politics, and journalism, were divided once again. The majority were against censorship, but quite a few also understood it – in this case.
Google-owned Youtube video service, uploaded a video about Muhammad which has caused unrest throughout the Arab world. Riots which took the lives of dozens of people, including the United States ambassador to Libya.
The HS is a strong defender of freedom of expression and condemns all insults and threats of violence. However, we have also assumed that there is with the freedom of expression, a sense of responsibility.
When we know that the images are offensive, we also recognize the risks involved, and we didn’t want to publish the pictures.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and an inalienable part of humanity.
“Freedom of speech is life itself,” said the persecuted writer Salman Rushdie.
For Finns freedom of speech is self-evident. That is why we find it difficult to remember that in the world freedom of speech is a rare delicacy. According to the defender of civil liberties, Freedom House, only less than 15 per cent of the world’s people live in countries with free media.
This is good to keep in mind when you marvel at the reaction created by the Mohammad images and video.
In a free country, you learn to see that freedom of expression includes the right to express views that differ from their own. Freedom of speech increases the diversity of resilience.
“Freedom of expression is also free to make stupid comments,” said Professor Kari Enqvist HS jury.
What I would have responded if I had been part of the HS-jury?
I would be inclined to support the view that Google should have removed the video from YouTube sensation.
Why? Youtube for me is the media, the content of which is the owner’s, and should take on responsibility for something. This is not about censorship, but freedom of expression with responsibility.
Google has cleverly harnessed the freedom of the Internet in the fundamentals of business. This does not mean that the company can wash their hands from the contents of its channel. Freedom of speech belongs to the web, but also responsibility.