Google won't remove video clip

2012-09-16 14:39

Washington - Google is refusing a White House request to take down an anti-Muslim clip on YouTube, but is restricting access to it in certain countries.

The White House said on Friday that it had asked YouTube to review whether the video violated its terms of use. Google owns YouTube, the online video sharing site.

YouTube said in a statement on Friday that the video is widely available on the web and is "clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube."

The short film "Innocence of Muslims" denigrates Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. It played a role in igniting mob violence against US embassies across the Middle East. And it has been blamed for playing a role in violence in Libya, where the US ambassador and three others were killed though the exact cause of the attacks is under investigation.

US and Libyan officials are investigating whether the protests in Libya were a cover for militants, possibly al-Qaeda sympathisers, to carry out a co-ordinated attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi and kill Americans. Washington has deployed FBI investigators to try and track down militants behind the attack.

Free speech

While the protests intensified over the video, YouTube blocked access to the clip in Libya and Egypt. YouTube cited "the very sensitive situations" in those two countries. Later YouTube also blocked access to the video in India and Indonesia after their governments told Youtube the video broke their laws.

The controversy underscores how some internet firms have been thrust into debates over the limits of free speech.

In its Friday statement, YouTube said that outside of Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia, the video will remain on its website.

"We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions," the YouTube statement said. "This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video - which is widely available on the web - is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, we've restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries. This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007."

YouTube's community guidelines say the company encourages free speech and defends everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But YouTube says it does not permit hate speech.

  • nico.leroux1 - 2012-09-16 17:14

    So I guess they will also burn google down?

  • grant.henry1 - 2012-09-16 19:05

    Like I said as a Christian I have some muslims within my family, but its all about respect. When I go to their home I respect them as I would respect anybody's house I go too. So when they come to me they have to respect my house and my beliefs. When I have parties and they come over, I'm not going to run and hide the gammon or what ever other pork just because they coming over. If they don't like it they can leave. Respect me and I will respect you.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-09-16 22:37

    Saw the video. quite boring. don't know what the hoo ha is all about. Like watching a bad porn movie. Yawn

  • tyranvz - 2012-09-17 08:05

    Strange. Cos Muslims are so peaceful. And respect all views.

      grant.henry1 - 2012-09-17 09:49

      To those giving me the thumps down, please explain why. What did I say that was wrong. All I'm talking about is respecting one another. I meqan it is my house and like I would respect u in your home I would expect the same respect in my home. Or is it all about respecting u people and damn the rest. Please explian.

  • LanfearM - 2012-09-17 09:32

    Woohoo, go Google! Don't let governments and fanatic religious idiots dictate to you.

  • Arif.Akbar87 - 2012-09-18 10:08

    So if Jesus was portrayed in such a way it would be fine??? Christians would be totally cool with a movie depicting the Son of God as a murderer, rapist and homosexual floating around on the internet? Just becoz ppl are entitled to their own opinion doesn't make it right:-/ sum ppl should really shut the f up and keep their opinions to themselves then

      pistonpete.outriders - 2012-09-20 08:00

      nah....the majority of christians dont give a dam and would not be bombing innocents. its ok to be offended....nothing happens! you can say what you like about jesus etc....its ok.....go ahead. the christians are confident in their views......and tolerant.....and thats the difference compared to the medievil muslim faith.

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