Google has blocked YouTube users in Singapore from viewing the anti-Islamic video, “Innocence of Muslims”, after the request from Media Development Authority. MDA made the request to Google as a pre-emptive measure after the video sparked violent protests in several countries. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the video contains material that is contrary to the public interest and incites “religious hatred, strife or intolerance” and is therefore in breach of Singapore’s laws.
Accessing the YouTube video from a Singapore IP address will return a message from YouTube saying the video is blocked due to a legal complaint from the Government.
Google has also blocked the video in several countries including Malaysia and Indonesia.
I think this is a good move by MDA, MHA and Google. I’ve seen that video before it was taken down and I felt offended too even though I’m not a Muslim. It is good to block the video in Singapore although I’m sure it won’t cause any violent protests here.
However I’m surprised that YouTube has not taken down the video worldwide. I understand that as a US company, Google encourage free speech on its platform. But the video is clearly against their YouTube Community Guidelines.
We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view. But we don’t permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).
I really hope Google and YouTube will reconsider their stand and remove the video completely worldwide.
It is unfortunate that some people misuse their freedom of speech. It is also unfortunate that some people uses this opportunity to incite violence.