Anthony Watts’ teachable moment has fully backfired; Youtube has accepted Peter Sinclair’s DMCA counter-notice and put-back request, and restored the Climate Change Denier Crock of the Week video titled Watts up with Watts?
For those of you who have been following the story, this isn’t particularly surprising. Despite Watts’ claims that YouTube agreed with his complaint, YouTube automatically takes down any video that receives a DMCA takedown complaint. In taking down the Sinclair YouTube in no way agreed with Watts, it just did what is necessary in order for it to maintain its safe harbour status under the DMCA. The fact that they re-instated the video is evidence of that.
But before we get all bent out of shape for Watts’ actions (as disreputable as they were) we really ought to thanks him for not taking into account the Streisand effect:
The Streisand effect is an Internet phenomenon where an attempt to censor or remove a piece of information backfires, causing the information to be widely publicized.
Or John Gilmore’s observation that:
The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.
As Sinclair rightly points out, this little episode exposed many more people to his excellent Climate Change Denier Crock of the Week series. We all owe Anthony Watts a big thank you for that.