Google snubs White House request to remove anti-Islam video, cites free speech
(taken from The Examiner.)
On Friday, Google, the company that owns YouTube, rejected White House requests to reconsider pulling a video many claim is the motivation for the violent protests at U.S. embassies in the Middle East, Reuters reported.
Although YouTube has pulled anti-Islamic videos in the past, it chose not to pull the trailer.
“This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” Google said earlier in the week, while saying access has been temporarily restricted in countries like Egypt and Libya.
“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,” the company said in a statement. “This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.”
The White House maintains that violent protests are the direct result of the video that portrays the prophet Mohammad as a fraud and philanderer, but other reports say the attacks were in the making for some time.
“The protest was planned by Salafists well before news circulated of an objectionable video ridiculing Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, said Eric Trager, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy,” USA Today reported earlier in the week.
“To the extent that anyone involved actually cares about the movie, what they care about is the fact that the U.S. government refuses to censor it,” said a post at the conservative blog Hot Air.
Twitchy notes that “even as mobs in Gaza burned the American flag and an effigy of President Obama,” White House press secretary Jay Carney denied that U.S. policy had anything to do with the protests.
“This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video – a film – that we have judged to be reprehensive and disgusting,” Carney said.
“That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and – to Muslims,” he added.
“If we’re going to have anti-blasphemy laws, I want them official and passed by Congress and reviewed by the courts. I don’t want this executive-only implementation of a despicable law,” the blog said on Friday.
“For the moment, at least, it seems that Google is a greater champion of First Amendment rights than the White House,” Twitchy added, calling it “a very awkward position for Americans to be in…”
Twitchy reminded readers that “…freedom of speech is perhaps in as much need of defense at home as our embassies are overseas.”
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