Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that Google officials have rejected the notion of removing a video that depicts the prophet as a fraud and philanderer and has been blamed for sparking violence at U.S. embassies in Cairo and Benghazi. Google says the video does not violate YouTube's policies, but they did restrict viewers in Egypt and Libya from loading it due to the special circumstances in the country. Google's response to the crisis highlighted the struggle faced by the company, and others like it, to balance free speech with legal and ethical concerns in an age when social media can impact world events. 'This video – which is widely available on the Web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,' Google said in a statement. 'However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.' Underscoring Google's quandary, some digital free expression groups have criticized YouTube for censoring the video. Eva Galperin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says given Google' s strong track record of protecting free speech, she was surprised the company gave in to pressure to selectively block the video. 'It is extremely unusual for YouTube to block a video in any country without it being a violation of their terms of service or in response to a valid legal complaint,' says Galperin. 'I'm not sure they did the right thing.'"
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