The video, a film trailer mocking the Muslim faith, will not be accessible via YouTube in Libya and Egypt, the company said in a statement issued to CNN. “We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,” YouTube said by e-mail. “This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.”
The video, a 14-minute movie trailer that many view as an insult to Muslims and their faith, was blamed for setting off a wave of violence in Libya and protests in Egypt on Tuesday and Wednesday. An attack on a U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi left the U.S. ambassador and three other embassy staffers dead. President Obama strongly condemned the violence, calling the attack “outrageous.”
Major news broadcast ABC, NBC, CBS, and early-mid morning talk shows (Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, NBC Today, and the ladies on The View) have all generated discussion on a familiar question at a time when the Internet has become the world’s major medium of communication: When should websites that display user-generated content take down material that is deemed to be offensive?
This sort of debate comes up with some frequency. Some people were outraged this year when Facebook decided not to take down pages that supported the man accused of opening fire on moviegoers in a Colorado theater. YouTube also has been criticized for taking down videos showing police brutality and other acts of violence that could have political or journalistic significance. Some of those videos were reposted by the site after further review.
You Tube stands by their goals as a medium for all people by saying “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.”
So, I ask you should You Tube take down the video that is allegedly at the core of the recent senseless violence in Libya, Egypt and other areas? Did the producer of the video/mini movie overstep his boundaries and did he cross the line into abuse and misuse of freedom of speech as he disseminates his personal agenda? And what if anything should government do regarding this matter? According to NPR interviews with some of the cast say the were mislead as it pertains to the content and intention of the film, in fact the dialogue was digitallyaltered per one of the cast members, if this being the case should the producer of the film be investigated?
Your comments and questions welcome. Email dialoguewithiRiS@aol.com