U.S. & World Headlines
Created on Saturday, 15 September 2012 06:46
Category: Links National
Authors: Politics from The NationThe protests against the now infamous YouTube video disparaging the Prophet Mohammad have thrust YouTube, and its parent company Google, into a tough situation.
While the company says it values free speech and usually only removes videos that violate its policies, it is experimenting with a deliberately inconsistent approach to the crisis surrounding the video, “Innocence of Muslims.”
Google will continue hosting the video in most of the world, since it does not meet the company’s definition of hate speech. But it is now blocking access to the video in Libya and Egypt, where the video has contributed to violent riots over the past several days, as well as India. (The English-version of the video has been viewed the most in Egypt, Canada and Tunisia, according to YouTube data.) The company released an unusual statement explaining its decision:
“This video—which is widely available on the Web—is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube…. given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”
Google argues that its geographic relativism is also necessary because what is acceptable “in one country can be offensive elsewhere,” and it expressed sympathy for the people