Washington, Sep 12 : The video-sharing service YouTube is banning submissions that involve "inciting others to violence, following criticism from Senator Joseph I. Lieberman that the site was too open to terrorist groups disseminating militant propaganda.
"YouTube was being used by Islamist terrorist organizations to recruit and train followers via the Internet and to incite terrorist attacks around the world, including right here in the United States, and Google should be commended for recognizing that," Lieberman said.
"I expect these stronger community guidelines to decrease the number of videos on YouTube produced by al Qaeda and affiliated Islamist terrorist organizations," he added.
Lieberman, head of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent an open letter in May to Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google, which owns YouTube, asking him to yank "videos produced by Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups" off the site.
The company earlier this year removed some of the videos that Lieberman targeted, many of which were marked with the logos of al-Qaeda and affiliated groups. But the company refused to take down most of the videos on the senator's list, saying they did not violate the Web site's guidelines against graphic violence or hate speech.
Now that videos inciting others to violence are banned, more videos by the terrorist groups in question may be removed, the Washington Post reported.
"YouTube reviews its content guidelines a few times a year, and we take the community's input seriously," YouTube spokesman Ricardo Reyes said. "The senator made some good points."
The standoff between the senator and the nation's largest video-sharing site aroused arguments that have become commonplace since September 11, 2001: It pitted civil rights -- in this case, free speech -- against demands to crack down on terrorism.
In May, Lieberman issued a bipartisan report by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs staff that described how al-Qaeda created and managed its online media.