Hit by spiralling tide of anti-American protests in the Muslim world, the White House today asked Google-owned YouTube to review continued uploading of a controversial film deemed offensive to Islam.

Holding the video as primarily responsible for the violent anti-US protests in the West Asia and North African countries, the Obama administration has told the YouTube to see if it was in compliance with their terms of use.

“We reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and asked them to review whether it violates their terms of use,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

However, officials emphasised that this was not any move to block the controversial video.

At the same time, the US reiterated its commitment to freedom of expression and speech and declined to take any action against banning or blocking this video, akin to that of several countries like India, Pakistan and Indonesia.

Google has maintained that it is blocking the video in India and Indonesia at the requests of their government in compliance with local law.

“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,” Google said.

“This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007,” it said.

According to The Washington Post, a company official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe internal thinking at Google, said, “Dealing with controversial content is one of the biggest challenges we face as a company.”

Meanwhile, the White House refused to apologise for the video as being suggested by Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Tunisia observing that the US Government has nothing to do with this “disgusting movie“.

“Absolutely not,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said when asked about apology.

“We have made clear that we find it offensive, reprehensible and disgusting. We have denounced it, but we cannot and will not squelch freedom of expression in this country. It is a foundational principle of this nation,” he said.

(This article was published on September 15, 2012)
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