Wednesday, 25 May 2011

UK Government Censors Youtube

Trawling through Hansard this morning, I spot that John Hemming was again highlighting the ludicrous situation regarding injunctions. However this part of his speech caught my eye (my emphasis):
"We have no true freedom of speech when people can be jailed for complaining about their problems. This country seems to have a penchant for covering up problems that would be discussed openly in others.

Florence Bellone, a Belgian journalist, recorded an interview with Carol Hughes and Lucille O’Regan in Ireland, which was broadcast on RTBF in Belgium. A copy was placed on YouTube, but access in the UK is now blocked as a result of what YouTube calls a “government request”. What can be so frightening about that interview that people in the UK are not allowed to see it, but it can be broadcast in Belgium?"

And sure enough, trying to access the relevant video, titled "Please take me home" prompts the message pictured above. There is fortunately another version available which has yet to be censored, so we can see what the fuss is about, or not. As Hemming rightly asks what's so frightening about the interview - it's nearly all in French anyway (although there is a rough translation in the comments below). Not only that but Hemming himself is featured in the video, so our Government is censoring videos to ensure that we cannot see or hear our own elected representatives being interviewed.

It's another example of the "Ryan Giggs effect" - I wouldn't have bothered searching for or watching the video if it hadn't been subjected to a "Government removal request" and it's wonderful how illiterate governments are when it comes to the internet. Not only can we download the version available and keep uploading it as fast as it's taken down, but a simple use of a proxy server website by-passes the restrictions in seconds.


  1. Pendant alert: cenSOR means to block publication, cenSURE means to express severe disapproval of something (but not actually stop it).

  2. @Jim, thanks, now amended - that will teach me to rely on auto-correct.

  3. Sssssshh ... don't tell them about proxy servers or that they advertising the stuff they want kept quiet ,,, akin to telling a poker player his leaks and tells ... FFS

  4. ASE and GOT set up EYETUBE for this very reason - I don't upload videos, but I often stop by to see all the videos that You Tube won't allow.

  5. @Daniel979, Eyetube is a great site, have uploaded the video there just in case ;_)

  6. Hi Boiling Frog, I'm that Belgian frog and am curious about who you are... But thank you for having noticed. Not only they might have not liked the part with John Hemming but all parents and family members having their babies or children taken away by social services are automatically gagged (and desperate to speak out when the pain overcomes the fear).