An Ethical Dilemma – Curation as Social Influencer

In light of the recent violence in the middle east, a question comes to light concerning the ethical dilemma of the curator.  The vast majority of content curators are running sites and blogs geared towards a very specific niche market, an act which in and of itself limits the possibility of legitimately offending their audience.  One of the largest curation sites on the web, though, is currently censoring a piece of content in order to limit the negative backlash it has created.

The site is Youtube and the content is a now infamous video which portrays the Islamic profit Muhammad.  While avoiding the discussions which surround the ethical issues of religion, a discussion of censorship and curation can be had. 

Is censoring an offensive piece of content appropriate given the fallout it has created?  Is censorship having an effective result by calming the reaction to the content?  While it is true that the portrayal of Muhammad is offensive to many, is it not acceptable to allow the publisher of the content the freedom of expression?

The following article from Dawn C. Chmielewski of the L.A. Times discusses the ethical dilemma of Youtube.

YouTube’s role at issue over video that incited Mideast violence by Dawn C. Chmielewski

From the article:

“The era of uncurated and unmediated commenting is pretty much over,” said Tom Rosenstiel, an author, journalist and founder of the Project for Excellence in Journalism.”Almost all sites that I know of have moved toward curation and pulling down content that they think is objectionable. Where YouTube will end up on this, I don’t know.”

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