YouTube reinstates video of a tortured 13-year-old boy for its ‘news value’
A graphic video of the corpse of a 13-year-old boy who appears to have been physically tortured and sexually mutilated by Syrian security officials has become a rallying cry for Syrians and the tipping point for the international community.
The video, which shows young Hamza Ali al-Khatib with his penis severed, body covered in bullet holes and cigarette burns, chest seared by massive burns, kneecaps shattered, neck broken, and face covered in bruises, was posted to YouTube and then passed around thousands of times on social networks.
After the video was flagged for its graphic content, YouTube took the video down. But when reporters and human rights advocates petitioned YouTube administrators about the importance of the video being accessible in Syria and abroad, YouTube put the video back up. (A user must be 18 years old and have a log in to watch the video.)
The move suggested that YouTube had joined the ranks of Google and Twitter in wholly embracing the freedom of speech of the Middle East protesters, unlike Facebook, which has taken a more cautious stand.