As protests spread throughout the Arab world like a wildfire, governments around the world have shined a light on Google's free speech policies (Photo : Reuters)
As protests spread throughout the Arab world like a wildfire, governments around the world have shined a light on Google's free speech policies. The inflammatory "Innocence of Muslims" video gained international attention after it was posted on Youtube, a subsidiary of Google. Google has since removed the video from India and Indonesia, where laws restricting such content are in place, but has refused to take the film down elsewhere in accordance with its free speech policy.
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"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. This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007" said Google in a statement.
The White House insisted that the video infringes on Youtube's hate speech policy, but the company concluded that "Innocence" didn't violate any rules because the video was anti-religion, instead of being directed at the Muslim people.
Google's 2007 policy states, "At Google we have a bias in favor of people's right to free expression in everything we do, but we also recognize that freedom of expression can't be-and shouldn't be-without some limits. The difficulty is in deciding where those boundaries are drawn. For a company like Google with services in more than 100 countries-all with different national laws and cultural norms-it's a challenge we face many times every day."
Columbia University law professor Tim Wu noted the changing dynamics of free speech in the information age, saying "most free speech today has nothing to do with government and everything to do with companies."
"Innocence of Muslims" Video
Note that Latinos Post does not endorse the content of "Innocence of Muslims"