“Fitna” Available at Liveleak again

After removing “Fitna” from its servers in response to threats against its employees, LiveLeak has restored accessibility through its website. The video entry is accompanied by this statement:

On the 28th of March LiveLeak.com was left with no other choice but to remove the film “fitna” from our servers following serious threats to our staff and their families. Since that time we have worked constantly on upgrading all security measures thus offering better protection for our staff and families. With these measures in place we have decided to once more make this video live on our site. We will not be pressured into censoring material which is legal and within our rules. We apologise for the removal and the delay in getting it back, but when you run a website you don’t consider that some people would be insecure enough to threaten our lives simply because they do not like the content of a video we neither produced nor endorsed but merely hosted.

The vigilance shown by both LiveLeak and YouTube (assuming that it received comparable threats) is worth applauding. The commitment to provide an open space for people to share and access content, even when and especially when some viewers and politicians may find it objectionable, supports the democratization of information. Without that commitment, a user’s interaction with news online is susceptible to the same problems the plague centralized media: the concentration of power to determine what is valuable or important information.

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