The global uproar over the video trailer for “Innocence of Muslims” is raising questions about YouTube’s responsibilities as the Internet’s hub for video:
Some media observers predict that the incident will prompt calls for Google Inc.’s YouTube to play a more active role in curating the billions of hours of videos found on its site. One prominent 1st Amendment lawyer even suggested that YouTube should seek a judge’s ruling about whether to remove potentially incendiary content.
Other digital media experts, however, cited the technical limitations of scouring the torrent of videos that are uploaded to the site every minute and making value judgments about those likely to incite anger, hate or murder.
YouTube’s position: ”We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,” a spokesman said in a statement. “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.”
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Photo: A screen shot from the 14-minute trailer for “Innocence of Muslims.” The movie, which was filmed in Southern California, has been blamed for inciting mobs in Egypt and Libya. Credit: YouTube