YouTube To Be Blocked in Egypt

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An Egyptian court suspended YouTube for a month as a penalty for broadcasting the controversial film “Innocence of Muslims,” which mocks the prophet Muhammad, according to a Reuters report.

“Innocence of Muslims” is the title attributed to an anti-Islamic movie trailer. The 13 minute video clips were initially uploaded to YouTube in July 2012, under two separate titles, “The Real Life of Muhammad” and “Muhammad Movie Trailer.”

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The trailer starts with a scene portraying the reportedly increasing persecution of Copts and poor human rights in present day Egypt, with a rise in church-burnings, growing religious intolerance and sectarian violence that has been seen against the 10% population of Egypt that are Copts, and complaints that authorities have failed to protect this population. What was perceived as denigrating of the prophet Muhammad caused demonstrations and violent protests against the film to break out on September 11 in Egypt and spread to other Arab and Muslim nations, and to some western countries.

The protests have led to hundreds of injuries and over 75 deaths. (Wikipedia)

The Obama administration initially said the video was the cause of the 2012 Benghazi attack, but that was proven to be incorrect, and no demonstration took place at the compound in Benghazi.

Google determined that “Innocence of Muslims” did not violate YouTube’s community standards guidelines governing the United States. The company did block the film in countries where it was deemed illegal when riots broke out.

According to YouTube:

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, 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.

Google has not received anything from the judge or government related to this matter.

Tim Martin is a Technology specialist, who gives us insights into the technology and software that helps us to get through our day. Technology is everywhere, an increasingly pervasive part of our lives. Tim helps us make sense of it in many ways.