White House Asks YouTube to Review ‘Innocence of Muslims’

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Officials at the White House have asked YouTube to review “Innocence of Muslims,” the anti-Muslim video that’s fueling protests around the world, according to multiple reports.

The Obama administration has “reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use,” Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, told the Washington Post on Friday.

YouTube’s Community Guidelines “encourage free speech” and “defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view,” but they disallow “hate speech” — defined as “speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity.”

The Los Angeles Times reported the White House’s request on Thursday, citing “administration officials.” The report has since been backed up by the Washington Post report.

Protests related to the video, which was apparently made by an American and has received the support of several controversial anti-Muslim figures, have been focused on United States diplomatic posts around the world:

View Muslim Protests in a larger map

YouTube has blocked the video in Egypt and Libya, and the government of Afghanistan has taken steps to block YouTube entirely. However, it’s still accessible elsewhere in the world as of Friday afternoon. Proxy software can allow access to the video in countries where it’s blocked.

YouTube hasn’t yet responded to Mashable’s request for an updated comment. The company previously said
the following:

“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 yesterday’s attack in Libya.”

The video is allegedly a 14-minute trailer for a full-length film and has been blamed for inciting unrest in Egypt, Libya and elsewhere. It was apparently edited in post-production to be a wildly more inflammatory film than the original script made it out to be.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Vacclav, map courtesy of Gina Harkins

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/14/white-house-innocence-muslims/

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