Google Pressured over Controversial Youtube Video

Google Pressured over Controversial Youtube Video

Sep 16, 2012

One topic that has been dominating interactions between social media users in the region was a Youtube American anti-Islam film which has offended Muslims. The low- budget video, a trailer for a supposed movie called the “Innocence of Muslims,” has received strong criticism from top U.S. officials and has stirred a massive response from people in the Middle East and Muslim world and resulted in protests in Egypt, Libya, Tunis and other countries.

The White House has requested Google to review the video in question. Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, told David Nakamura of the Washington Post that the White House has “reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use.”
“We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions.  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, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.  Our hearts are with the families of the people murdered in Tuesday’s attack in Libya” Was Youtube’s response.

Blocking the video in Egypt and Libya seems Youtube’s middle ground. Yet, the debate is still there of whether Youtube must delete the video or not. YouTube’s Community Guidelines “encourage free speech” and “defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view.” It doesn’t allow hate speech: speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.

Whether Google’s Youtube sees the video agrees with this definition or not, is what determines whether or not the video gets removed.

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