Watch: the Israeli ‘kill video’ YouTube won’t delete


by Sunny Hundal    
6:41 pm - November 16th 2012

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YouTube is rejecting calls by some to remove a video showing the assassination of Hamas’ leader, even though its T&Cs ban “graphic or gratuitous violence”.

Youtube guidelines actually say: “if your video shows someone being physically hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don’t post it.”

The video below, posted just a few days ago, has been viewed 2 million times.

Wired magazine quotes an anonymous employee:

A snuff film, posted just for the sick thrill of it, won’t last long. But a similarly graphic clip, posted in “documentary fashion” or for political effect, “will be judged differently,” the employee adds.

That makes sense though. If, for example, there was a video of US troops committing atrocities in Afghanistan, then we would all be outraged if YouTube took it down.

But others argue the inflammatory video will encourage more violence.

But the video is the least offensive part of the social media war being played out in parallel to the conflict: both Israel and Hamas have been putting out other pictures and videos to bolster their case.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


A grey blob regularly moving in a darker grey cityscape is highlighted and then becomes a white erratic blur. That describes the deaths that we see in the video. Many newspapers have shown photos of the burning car wreckage which ought to be more distressing to the reader.

YouTube’s white erratic blur, when that is the only story, diminishes understanding of death in war. Street journalists recorded a car in which people were blown apart or burned to death.

Sunny: “But the video is the least offensive part of the social media war being played out in parallel to the conflict: both Israel and Hamas have been putting out other pictures and videos to bolster their case.”

Yes. Israel and Hamas both use video and photo stories to present their cases and both use them in an attempt to demonstrate an asymmetric war. But the war, and war it is, is defined by almost symmetrical disregard of citizens.

2. Chaise Guevara

Bloody hell, Sunny, did I just read objective reporting on LC? Fair play to you, all sarcasm aside.

Charlieman: I haven’t hit play, as I’m not in a great mood and really don’t want to be watching what it shows. But I’ve seen news footage before of similar things shot a similar way, birds-eye view with a heat camera, and it didn’t exactly feel like something you could shrug off.

Anyone who takes pleasure in the death of another human being, however despotic has a sociopathic tendency to hurt others.

“Anyone who takes pleasure in the death of another human being, however despotic has a sociopathic tendency to hurt others.”

Exactly so. How many Palestinians will the Israeli’s kill this time before their blood lust is sated for a while? More than 2000? Are the bookmakers quoting odds?

I have never watched these materials.They are the snuff movies for the you tube generation.

People wonder why our children are so aggressive and violent these days ! It is no surprise that children are so violent and aggressive when we are shown/educated with pictures that show our and other governments trying to solve problems with extreme violence and killing.

Over many years the United Kingdom has been at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and is now looking at involvement in Syria and possibly Iran. Our children have been exposed to death and destruction on a regular basis, day in and day out, on the news over many, many years, being taught that violence is the norm to solve problems.

It is no wonder that violence has become the norm in the United Kingdom when the world around us is so Evil and fragmented.

YouTube should hang it’s head in shame and those that have conspired in allowing these films to remain online for all to see.

All your Hamas leaders are belong to us!

That’s a nice surgical strike. No bystanders harmed at all. Perfect!
The Royal Army ad Air Force could learn from that.

Something like this should not be posted anywhere. What can anyone like on a visual like this?

10. Chaise Guevara

@ Mr Grunt

“People wonder why our children are so aggressive and violent these days ! ”

I’d question whether they actually are more aggressive and violent than before. What’s your basis for that claim?

People wonder why our children are so aggressive and violent these days !

Except they aren’t.

It is no surprise that children are so violent and aggressive when we are shown/educated with pictures that show our and other governments trying to solve problems with extreme violence and killing.

Except they aren’t.

It’s ironic that it’s those most convinced of the supposed effects of media violence who are the most likely to swallow media bullshit about how violent kids are – and how much of this is down to the media.

Chaise Guevara @ 10

Hi Chaise, in part, my comment explained what I meant by children growing up exposed to death and destruction due to war coverage on television and news over many, many years. It is almost like war is Glorified on many levels.

http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/faculty/caa/abstracts/2000-2004/01ba.ap.pdf

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-we-worry/201206/the-psychological-effects-tv-news

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/help_kids_cope_with_the_violence_in_their_lives_including_news_coverage_of_violent_events

Children are in fact exposed to aggression and violence in many ways but the news coverage of war, death and destruction brings a weird reality to what they have already been exposed to.

It is very difficult to control what your children play or watch when you are both out at work making ends meet.

I remember a friends 10 year old child thought Gadaffi’s death was extremely funny because he was the bad guy. Some kids really do believe it is right for bad people to die in a disgustingly bad way, (even kids from good loving families.) Obviously my friend had a long talk with their child, but how many people have not noticed their children’s thoughts because nothing has been said by either child or parent ?

14. Man on Clapham Omnibus

12. Mr Grunt

I think the child’s perception is very instructive because its pretty much the same as the adult view. Does this call into question the actual substance and context in which news is presented ie as a set of highly selected isolated events with virtually no explanation? Additionally, are parents and teachers more likely to be in the know if their only source of information are the same news channels? If not then they are hardly in a position to provide context.

I expect the 10 year old thought,by implication, that Tony Blair was the good guy. How worrying is that!

Man On Clapham Omnibus @ 14

I agree with you entirely.

Many adults do not know the full story regarding what they see and hear on the news or other events. Many adults may not fully understand what they see and hear on the news. Some news is there to brain wash the viewers.

As you point out, parents and teachers may not always be best placed to explain the news or events to children. Some parents are to dumb !


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Sunny Hundal

    Watch: the Israeli 'kill video' that YouTube isn't taking down either. Should it? http://t.co/fdTb7C2d

  2. Sam Bentley

    Watch: the Israeli 'kill video' that YouTube isn't taking down either. Should it? http://t.co/fdTb7C2d

  3. RedBlackPaws

    Watch: the Israeli 'kill video' that YouTube isn't taking down either. Should it? http://t.co/fdTb7C2d

  4. Jason Brickley

    Watch: the Israeli ‘kill video’ YouTube isn’t taking down either http://t.co/ivnQw3o9

  5. Anne Hesnan

    Watch: the Israeli ‘kill video’ YouTube isn’t taking down either http://t.co/ivnQw3o9

  6. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Watch: the Israeli ‘kill video’ YouTube isn’t taking down either http://t.co/b05u6drp





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