YouTube was sued yesterday by representatives from Yemen, Turkey and the Philippines, stating that the popular website discriminates against non-Westerners with deliberate slowdowns after 5pm E.S.T.
The lawsuit, filed in Geneva, says these slowdowns are meant to "increase the speed in which videos load for Americans, at the expense of non-Americans." The suit says U.S. customers typically barnstorm the internet after 5 p.m., which "causes a buildup in the tube stream."
"If videos are slow to load," the suit maintains, "U.S. customers react the angriest, flooding message boards with complaints, and sooner or later the FCC gets involved and eventually Congress."
The suit says non-Westerners are singled out for slowness, with the assumption that their countries are "less empowered" than Western ones, and slow video loading wouldn't lead to complaints or even be considered unusual.
"This is false assumption," says the suit. "We don't appreciate video slowness any more than people in Idaho or Alberta. We demand equal access to the Internet, and maintain that any democratic website should be impartial to where its eyeballs come from."
The suit seeks unspecified damages, but is thought to be in the billions of dollars.