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Reporting from Washington — Nudity. Sexual activity. Animal abuse. All are reasons YouTube users can flag a video for removal from the website. Add a new category: promotes terrorism.
YouTube and its parent company, Google, have been criticized by lawmakers for refusing to prescreen militant speeches and propaganda videos that have been cited in more than a dozen terrorism investigations over the last five years.
But rather than submit to policies that many argue would amount to an erosion of 1st Amendment rights, particularly in an open-access environment such as the Internet, YouTube is taking a decidedly more democratic path — let the customers decide.