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Summary:

[qi:050] Ma Bell seems to be acting like the big brother. Apparently, AT&T censored parts of Pearl Jam’s performance over the weekend. Rock band was performing as part of Lollapalooza. On their website, Pearl Jam writes: During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung […]

[qi:050] Ma Bell seems to be acting like the big brother. Apparently, AT&T censored parts of Pearl Jam’s performance over the weekend. Rock band was performing as part of Lollapalooza. On their website, Pearl Jam writes:

During the performance of “Daughter” the following lyrics were sung to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” but were cut from the webcast:
– “George Bush, leave this world alone.” (the second time it was sung); and
– “George Bush find yourself another home.”

They go on and say that this is more than just the censorship of a rock band. “What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call,” they write. AT&T blamed the censorship on an overaggressive content monitor.

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, dismissed that defense, and said it was “nothing short of appalling.”

An AT&T spokesperson sent us this statement:

“The editing of the Pearl Jam performance on Sunday night was not intended, but rather a mistake by one of the webcast editors. We have policies in place with respect to editing excessive profanity, but AT&T does not edit or censor performances. We have that policy in place because the blue room is not age-restricted.

We regret the mistake and are trying to work with the band to post the song in its entirety.”

  1. It only take a very few evildoers an the top. The rest is taken care of by stupid and scared drones like this “content monitor” guy. He’s not evil. He’s just afraid of losing his job. This is exactly what happened in Germany in the mid thirties. Or in todays Russia for that matter. Welcome to the club USA. Pax Romana!

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  2. If this is fact all I can say is what a sorry state the US of A is in.

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  3. ATT&T servers were too busy scanning all of our calls and emails for the NSA and this part of the streaming audio file just got dropped. Nothing sinister here!

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  4. I’d chalk this up to an honest mistake.

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  5. Pearl Jam are hippies. I miss when rock and roll was about showing and not telling. You can show people the right way without preaching to them. God bands will do anything to stay relevant.

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  6. I think anyone who criticizes AT&T in this instance is just slamming corporate America for being corporate. They gave what I consider an acceptable answer and will make up for the mistake tenfold if they do indeed make good on their promise to air the song as it was originally sung at the concert sans censors.

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  7. An acceptable answer??? Since when is saying “George Bush leave this world alone” profanity?

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  8. and this ‘over aggressive content monitor’ is none other than att itself :p.

    the real question here – why is pearl jam using att in the first place? and why is there even the possibility of att editing -any- part of the broadcast, rather than merely acting as the conduit (according to pearl jam’s agreement with them). this is the internet, it doesn’t need “content monitors”!

    the amount you can trust an entity to do the right thing is inversely proportional to it’s size. i’ve considered the internet massively tapped for at least the past 5 years, if not more, and wasn’t particularly surprised when it surfaced that it indeed was. if you want privacy, go install pidgin-encryption, tor, pgp, etc (i listed those easiest first). learn the basics of public key cryptography, and use it!

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  9. craig: fixing a mistake does not earn additional credibility, it should only repair SOME of the damage to their reputation. the fact that this mistake was made should cause respect for AT&T to drop by the simple fact that they made a mistake that gave the appearance of political censorship

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  10. I for one hope the monitor was just sick an tired of listening to whiny rockstars groan on about politics!!

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