The Military ban of YouTube and twelve other sites including MySpace, Metacafe, MTV, Pandora, Photobucket, and Blackplanet has caused quite a stir in the press, in the military and with the banned social networks themselves. YouTube now wants to meet with Pentagon officials in order to convince them to reverse their decision to block its site for use from troops that use the Defense Department’s computer network.
The Military has insisted that for security purposes as well s the necessity to boost network efficiency, the heavy bandwidth sites must be blocked from use, though the ban bars no reflection on how the military regards such social networks as YouTube and MySpace. The biggest point of discussion regarding the ban was the ironic fact that the military is quick to leverage such networks for their own marketing purposes while insisting that their own troops cannot access these sites. Equally important is the fact that some sites on the banned list, especially Blackplanet, are small in comparison to YouTube, and do not take up nearly as many resources from the Defense Department’s network. Ben Sun, CEO of Community Connect, which operates Blackplanet, is seeking a reversal by the Pentagon for this reason.
Whether or not officials from the Pentagon have agreed to meet with YouTube or BlackPlanet is yet to be seen, but it does leave us all scratching our heads as to the real reasons for banning the sites in the first place.