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Monday, April 14, 2008

YouTube Was Temporarily Blocked in Indonesia

On April 2nd, CNSNews reported that Indonesian authorities asked YouTube to take down the movie Fitna by Geert Wilders. Google’s YouTube rejected this, arguing YouTube allows people “to express themselves and to communicate with a global audience.” They said:

The diversity of the world in which we live – spanning the vast dimensions of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, political opinion, gender, and sexual orientation, to name a few – means that some of the beliefs and views of some individuals may offend others.

After Google’s rejection of the take-down, on April 8th news came in that YouTube at large, as well as Google Video (among other, non-Google owned sites), were now blocked in Indonesia. The information ministry said the order “would stay in place until the Web sites remove the film,” AP at BrisbanTimes writes. This blocking was not a singular incident; YouTube was also recently blocked in China due to videos covering the Tibet issue, and had been blocked in Thailand and other countries before.

The Indonesian ban was met with protest by many Indonesians though. According to CNet, one Indonesian blogger wrote, “Indonesia has entered a dark digital age ... I wonder why the Government made the stupid decision. The 17-minute video was rubbish, and I am not interested in viewing it at all.”

And after three more days, the nationwide ban was lifted again. The Information and Communication Minister Muhammad Nuh said, “I openly ask the public’s forgiveness for the inconvenience caused over the past few days by the blocking of sites,” adding that it was “a consequence of a process designed to protect the state.”

[Thanks Pd and Mohammad!]


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