As anti-American riots spread across the globe, Google has rejected the White House’s request to remove a controversial anti-Islam YouTube clip that sparked the violent protests, Dailymail reports.
The internet company, who own YouTube, said it was censoring the video in India and Indonesia after blocking it on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya, where U.S.
embassies have been stormed by protestors enraged over the depiction of the Prophet Mohammad as a fraud and philanderer.
But, despite mounting political pressure, Google are currently refusing to fully take down the clip.
The protests against the U.S-made film began on Tuesday, when the the embassy in Benghazi was stormed and the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.
On Friday, following days of escalating protests against U.S. embassies, the White House urged the Silicon Valley giant to reconsider its decision to keep a trailer of the anti-Islam film, Innocence of the Muslims, online.
Google refused to take the video down and said further restrictions of the clip were made to comply with local law rather than as a response to political pressure.
YouTube released this statement about its decision to keep up the inflammatory clip:
‘We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere.
‘This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, 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.
‘This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.’
White House officials had asked Google earlier on Friday to reconsider whether the video had violated YouTube’s terms of service, after the company said on Wednesday that the video was within its guidelines.
The White House’s thwarted request came the same day U.S. authorities said that they were investigating whether the film’s producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year old Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, had violated terms of his prison release.
Basseley was convicted in 2010 for bank fraud and released from prison on probation last June.
On Saturday, as anti-American riots spread to Australia, Al Qaeda urged Muslims to step up protests and kill more U.S. diplomats in Muslim countries in response to the U.S.-made film.
However, despite the violence in Australia, it seemed that the Middle East had calmed after three days of continual protests in which seven people have been killed.