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Sen. Joe Lieberman: Google's Blogger needs 'terrorist' button

Saying that alleged pipe-bomber Jose Pimentel used a Blogger-based blog to spread hate-filled screeds and links to bomb-making instructions, Lieberman sends letter to Google CEO Larry Page expressing opinion that Blogger should feature a content-flagging button like YouTube's.

An icon used by YouTube to publicize its content-flagging button. Several years back, Lieberman pressured YouTube owner Google over what he said was terror-related content on the video site. Now he's concerned about the Google-owned blogging platform Blogger.

Joseph Lieberman, the independent senator from Connecticut, sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page this week expressing his opinion that Google-owned blogging platform Blogger should provide a button that would let readers of Blogger-powered blogs flag "terrorist content," according to a report.

In the letter, Lieberman says that alleged pipe-bomber Jose Pimentel, who was arrested by the New York Police Department last weekend, used a Blogger-based blog to spread hate-filled screeds and links to bomb-making instructions.

(As of this writing, the blog referenced by Lieberman, trueislam1.com, appears to have been taken down.)

"As demonstrated by this recent case, Google's webhosting site, Blogger, is being used by violent Islamist extremists to broadcast terrorist content," reads the reported Lieberman letter, which was posted online by blog TPM.

The letter continues:

"In September 2008, in response to a previous request that YouTube not allow terrorist content on its servers, Google changed its YouTube Community Guidelines to expressly ban terrorist content. In November 2010, Google introduced a 'flag' button for terrorist content on YouTube. I continue to appreciate and commend these important first steps, but I am disappointed that Google has not developed a consistent standard throughout its many platforms. Unlike YouTube's Community Standards, Blogger's Content Policy does not expressly ban terrorist content nor does it provide a 'flag' feature for such content."

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In May 2008, Lieberman, currently chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, sent a letter to Google's then-CEO, Eric Schmidt, that suggested the tech giant wasn't doing enough to remove YouTube videos that were violent or could be used by terrorist groups to enlist followers.

Among other things, YouTube's Community Guidelines currently prohibit hate speech, inciting others to commit violent acts, and videos showing bomb making.

TPM said a Google representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Lieberman's Blogger letter.

Here's a short-course in flagging that appears on YouTube's Community Guidelines page: