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UPDATED: MySpace Denies Removing Obama Joker Images

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UPDATE  28/08/09, 12.05 CST: Following the publication of this article MySpace has responded with the following comment:

Unfortunately, we do not keep records of removed profiles or images. If the profile or content was removed by MySpace, it violated the MySpace Terms of Service. Violations can include a number of issues (inappropriate images, spam, cyberbullying, underage use, etc).

Social Network site’s response over political censorship issue contradicts evidence sent to Infowars

Steve Watson
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Social Networking giant mySpace has responded to questions over censorship of the now iconic Obama as The Joker image by denying they have removed it from any users’ pages or photo albums.

Last week we reported on the fact that many MySpace users were contacting us with evidence that the Newscorp owned website is effectively censoring their political views by removing their “Jokerbama” images and threatening to disable their accounts.

Many users found that MySpace was removing the image with accompanying political words or phrases, citing it as “offensive” and grouping it in the same category as “nude/sexually explicit/violence” images.

Below is a screenshot of the email many users have sent to us:

In addition, other users also found that attempting to upload the image resulted in a similar message informing them the image “violated terms of use”:

In a further report, we also detailed how users discovered that uploading images of George W. Bush as The Joker is deemed to be acceptable by MySpace, while attempting to upload Obama as The Joker is classed as a violation.

(Article continues below)

Throughout our investigation we have attempted to contact MySpace for clarification. Here is the question we asked:

Hello, I am a journalist with the website Infowars.com. I have received several complaints from myspace users that you are removing images of president Obama as the Joker. As you may know this image has been in the news recently because many people are using it as a form of political protest. While it has been described as racist by some in the media, the original artist, a politically minded American Muslim, has said it was intended as a form of protest against the President’s policies. I would like to know if it is true that Myspace is removing this image from users’ pages, and if so for what reason.

Earlier this week we received a standard response from the company that merely linked to their terms and conditions page. The email we received read:

MySpace periodically updates both the MySpace Terms of Service and the MySpace Privacy Policy. If MySpace makes a significant change to the Privacy Policy, MySpace will notify all Profile owners, however, we recommend that all MySpace Profile owners review these two important policies.

After pointing out that this did not answer our question and asking for further clarification, we have now received the following response:

MySpace only removes images or content that violate Terms of Use. Please check TOS on Myspace. Since there is no cyberbully, nudity, harrasment or imposter we do not remove any image or content.

While this may be badly worded and grammatically incorrect, it seems to suggest that the company is denying having removed the Jokerbama image and classifying it as a violation of TOS.

This denial is clearly contradicted by the evidence supplied to Infowars by numerous readers.

We have once more asked MySpace to explain the emails our readers have received and whether or not they will continue to remove the Jokerbama image from users’ accounts.

This article was posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 10:26 am

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