THE BLOG
07/20/2010 05:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Alex Jones's YouTube Internet Meme

Despite the fact that there has been absolutely no evidence produced to show that it happened, YouTube has been the target of claims it removed an anti-Obama video.

It may have been flagged by users who didn't like it, but that alone is not enough to force the removal of a video. And the content owner and YouTube community are notified when that happens.

YouTube, owned by Google, does not pre-screen videos before they become available on its site. That would take hundreds of employees, if not thousands, for the 24/7 worldwide site.

The content provider, syndicated radio show host Alex Jones, has gained a tremendous amount of publicity of the unsubstantiated claim that YouTube took it down.

The essence of a site like YouTube is that it is wide open for things that otherwise would not be available. Screening videos likely would create a negative user experience by delaying their appearance and likely send viewers to other sites.

However, content providers can remove their own videos if they choose. And viewers may flag videos they think are offensive or violate copyrights. Decisions on whether to take a video down are made by humans, not a computer program.

Even though it might be said that the Internet is approaching middle age, many rough edges remain. Some things that appear on it many were the creations of the people who post them. There is even a name for these apparitions: "Internet memes."

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

At its most basic, an Internet meme is simply the propagation of a digital file or hyperlink from one person to others using methods available through the Internet (for example, email, blogs, social networking sites, instant messaging, etc). The content often consists of a saying or joke, a rumor, an altered or original image, a complete website, a video clip or animation, or an offbeat news story, among many other possibilities. In simple terms, an Internet meme is an inside joke, that a large number of Internet users are in on. An Internet meme may stay the same or may evolve over time, by chance or through commentary, imitations, and parody versions, or even by collecting news accounts about itself.

It's kind of like rumors used to spread by word of mouth; before they stopped they often had changed dramatically.

The rumors of deaths of celebrities often are started on sites like Twitter and thus are called Twitter deaths. Once they reach critical mass the mainstream media is occasionally prompted to write about them.

For those who really care about truth there is a website:

What is known is that the video creating the current buzz, called "The Obama Deception," remained available on other sites even after it disappeared from YouTube. That it is again available on YouTube means, ipso facto, that it does not violate YouTube community standards or any copyrights.