Google Won’t Rethink Anti-Islam Video’s Status - NYTimes.com
Google said on Friday that it would not comply with a White House request to reconsider the anti-Islam video that has set off violent protests in the Arab world in light of its rules banning hate speech on YouTube, which it owns.
Google said it had already determined that the video did not violate its terms of service regarding hate speech, because it was against the Muslim religion but not Muslim people.
The company also said Friday that it had blocked access to the video in India and Indonesia because it violated local laws.
These actions came after Google temporarily blocked the video on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya of its own volition — not because it violated laws or YouTube’s terms of service — an extraordinary measure that it said it took in response to the delicacy of the situation. The video is accessible in the rest of the world, even as protests spread to nearly 20 countries, from North Africa to Indonesia.
The company does not police videos uploaded to the site because of the sheer volume involved; 72 hours of videos are uploaded each minute. It reviews videos only if users flag them as inappropriate or if it receives a valid court order or government request to remove them for violating the law.
Kevin Bankston, director of the free expression project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that focuses on digital civil liberties, said that Google, as a private company, could decide what was appropriate on its sites and what was not. But he added, “Considering the power that many of these platforms have, it’s important for them to be as clear and transparent as possible about those decisions.”