Google blocks controversial movie trailer in Indonesia

But Google has said the video is clearly within its guidelines for other countries

Google took down on Friday in Indonesia the controversial movie trailer that has sparked protests worldwide, adding the country to the short list of nations where the video can't be seen on YouTube.

The company received a valid request from the Indonesian authorities asking that the trailer be taken down, which casts the Prophet Muhammad in a deeply unflattering light. Google will remove content from YouTube if it receives a court order or a valid request from a government. It was unclear how Indonesia presented its position to the company.

Google's YouTube guidelines do not permit "hate speech," which it defines as speech "that attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity."

The company has stuck by its guns, asserting that it is widely available elsewhere on the internet and it "is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube." Google had only restricted viewing in three other countries: India, Libya and Egypt.

The authenticity of the trailer and its similarity to a movie called "Innocence of Muslims" has been questioned, as well as whether there is a movie by that name.

Last week, Google said the trailer was restricted in Libya and Egypt due to "the very sensitive situations in those countries." US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died last Tuesday after protesters stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, while demonstrators also have converged at the US Embassy in Cairo.

The low-budget 14-minute video has caused violent protests at US embassies and consulates in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday that the "United States had nothing to do with this movie," which according to some reports was filmed in the US by a person whose identity has yet to be established.

"Our government does not and cannot stop individual citizens from expressing their views," Carney said according to a transcript. "Those of us who care about religious tolerance and who respect religious beliefs must not allow a tiny minority of people to provoke conflict between different religions, cultures, and countries."

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
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