Following demands made by the Saudi ruler, King Abdullah, YouTube has blocked access to the anti-Islam movie titled ‘The Innocence of Muslims’. The Saudi government has also revealed that if Google do not comply, they will block access to the entire site.
In explaining YouTube’s precarious position [and actions] to the demands made from several quarters, a YouTube official said, “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.”
Apart from blocking the video, which is considered blasphemous, in Saudi Arabia, it has also been blocked in other countries such as India, Indonesia, Libya and Egypt where the video is considered illegal by its governments.
However, the video cannot be removed from YouTube entirely as it meets the guidelines for posting video content set by the firm itself, and which has been why the company has rejected requests from the White House to remove the film completely from their site.
A spokesperson for Google explains how difficult it is to deal with controversial content as a company due to a variety of needs and cultures that they have to cater to but also said that their approach to keeping this video online is consistent with policies and principles that were first laid in 2007.