N.Y. Officials Seek to Crack Down on Google Video

Steve Javors
ALBANY, N.Y. — Livid at the amount of violent and explicit adult content available on Google’s new video clip service, the New York State Consumer Protection Board is preparing to issue a warning to parents about the website.

Google Video operates similarly to YouTube.com. The service allows anyone with a Google account to upload and share video clips, and there are no age restrictions in place to block children from accessing explicit videos.

The consumer protection agency is seeking to block home computers from accessing the site because it doesn’t contain filtering software to block children. Google claims the site is still under development and has removed objectionable videos when requested.

Users seeking to upload Google Video content can do so via a web-based system without having to download additional software.

Among the risqué videos offered on the website are teens stripping, amateur nudity, embarrassing sexual situations and various clips of girls drunkenly kissing each other.

Users can email these videos to friends and even post the content on their blogs. Depending on how users rate each video, surfers can see literally hundreds of videos displayed on the site’s main page in just a few hours.

“It’s fairly easy to find [explicit] videos throughout the Internet, but it’s certainly another case for Google to organize these videos and present them so freely on a single web page,” Teresa Santiago, the Consumer Protection Board’s executive director, told the N.Y. Post. “Parents have a hard enough time policing the Internet without Google’s video service making it easier for children to see and save these types of videos.”

State officials said they’ve held three meetings with Google, but claim the technology giant has not been upfront in its dealings. Google said it is in the process of developing a content management system to organize the huge volume of videos submitted by its users.

“We think Google Video should show more discretion in the presentation and accessibility of usable videos,” Santiago said.