Google can NOT engage in censorship. They're a private entity choosing how they want to use their resources.
It's still censorship no matter whether they're public or private. Censorship is censorship.
However, it is certainly within YouTube's purvey to censor
. Sure. No problem there.
But, it would be the exact same case for a restaurant throwing someone out and telling them that black people are welcome there. There is no significant difference. A privately owned restaurant is under no obligation to serve anyone that they don't want to.
a bit long
The same would go for a privately owned bus company refusing to allow children on the bus. Hey, it's their bus.
YouTube is a privately held company owned by Google. It is a UCC or social media site that specializes in video. The key there is "social media". But it has no "theme".
For example, if I were to post a video of cute puppies and kittens at YouPorn.com, I would fully expect it to be taken down, because YouPorn is for porn, and not cute animals. Conversely, most other sites, like Vimeo, have terms of service that prohibit porn.
It is the "terms of service" that laregly defines what is and is not acceptable at a site. The video that was pulled by YouTube did not violate the terms of service. That is censorship.
So the question is, do we treat large media or social media sites as media and demand a certain level of integrity, honesty, and tolerance?
Again, it is certainly within YouTube's purvey to censor.
But that still makes them censors in the same way that kicking a black kid out of your restaurant makes you a racist, or blocking 2 men (or 2 women) from getting married makes you a homophobe.
Now, it's not my place to say whether you or anyone else can or cannot be a racist or homophobe or censor. I just think that they're all douchey.
I'm willing to be that each of you would willingly engage in this same kind of "censorship". If someone came into your home -- even with an invitation -- and started saying insulting things to your family, wouldn't you ask them to leave? It's your home, and you're well within your rights to control the kinds of things that others do there.
I don't really think that's a valid comparison. A private home is not comparable to a private business. We have very different standards for them.
My restaurant example above is closer.
Indeed, our system needs to work this way. We recognize that the government must not interfere with people's ability to speak, but that doesn't mean that we want to have profanity and porn displayed on every street corner. Instead, we rely on the values of the people to exert social pressures on each other, so that the overall cultural values are preserved.
The censorship in this case was simply someone disagreeing with a position and making a joke that didn't include any profanity or obscenity.
We have the right to hate people of different races, or whatever - but that doesn't mean we should. Same for censorship. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.