YouTube is the ultimate destination for most video needs and it is increasingly becoming a useful tool in countries such as Libya and Egypt, who have both experienced great deals of violence for well publicized reasons.
In a manner unusual for Google, the decision to hide a video in these countries has been made. It is rare that videos are hidden by Google themselves but they made the decision based on the video causing outrage across both nations.
The video is a 14-minute trailer for Innocence of Muslims, a movie depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse. The film has been identified as anti-Islam, having previously went under the titles of Desert Warriors and Innocence of Bin Laden.
The trailer has been on YouTube since July 2, but only garnered attention when dubbed uploads reached Egyptian television, where they became the focus of a great deal of controversy.
It is possible to find uploads for the trailer outside of Libya and Egypt, but they cannot be accessed within either nation. Google's actions are unusual but as the video does not infringe upon their actual guidelines it cannot be removed for any real reason. Instead, it has been rendered unviewable in the nations where it is most likely to cause offense.
Previous depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten back in 2005 sparked similar controversy among followers of Islam, with the same outrage spreading across Middle Eastern countries. For anyone unable to view the trailer, don't worry: you're not missing much.
Source: Associated Press