POLL: Should Google Have Blocked Access To Innocence of Muslims In Egypt And Libya?

'Innocence of Muslims' -- Anna Gurji letter to Neil Gaiman

The New York Times reported  Friday morning that Google had made the controversial decision to block access to the inflammatory anti-Islam video,  Innocence of Muslims, in Egypt and Libya, where the crude production had sparked anti-U.S. riots and violence that resulted in the deaths of four American diplomats, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stephens.

According to the Times, Google, which owns YouTube where the clip is posted, did not remove the video from its site because its policy is to remove content only if it is deemed "hate speech,"  or "if it is responding to valid court orders or government requests."  Based on company guidelines, the Internet behemoth determined that Innocence of Muslims "was not hate speech," the paper reported, but Google still made the exceptional decision to block access to the video in Egypt and Libya in response to the violence and killings.

In the wake of this extraordinary decision by an American company to censor content, Movieline wants to hear from you.  Take the poll after the jump and tell us if Google's actions were warranted, or if, in your opinion, even more decisive action is required. 

Google’s immense power as one of the pillars of the Internet means that it can have huge influence over the boundaries of free speech on the web.  As Peter Spiro, a constitutional and international law professor at Temple University, told the Times: "Google is the world’s gatekeeper for information so if Google wants to define the First Amendment to exclude this sort of material then there’s not a lot the rest of the world can do about it."  [New York Times]

You can make your opinion heard. If your point of view doesn't fit neatly into one of the three choices below, please leave it in the comments box.

Follow Frank DiGiacomo on Twitter.

Follow Movieline on Twitter


  • Jake says:

    Indeed, this is a difficult issue because it's hard not to feel icky when defending the right to free speech of a hatemonger. But I feel like, as a modern society, we can't let a bunch of murderous mobs have us turn our backs on our right to express ourselves. As much as we disagree with this stupid film, I don't think it should be censored. Our ability to disagree with people without resorting to violence has generally been a powerful American and Western societal trait.

    But here is what I see as a much bigger problem for which we don't really have an answer. I was hanging out with an Egyptian man the other day. He's in his 60s and, strangely, he owns a BBQ restaurant here. He left Egypt when he was 19 and emigrated to Greece and eventually came to the US about 30 years ago and came to love being an American. We talked about the tensions in the Middle East and he told me the biggest problem is that, as a boy, he was taught in schools and by his elders that all the poverty and problems that exist in their society was the fault of the "great satan," the United States and Israel. When you teach children to hate at a young age, they grow up to become a nation of hatemongers. I mean, you can watch clips of Iranian children's shows on youtube that show kids in Iran being interviewed by their version of Mister Rogers and calling for "Death to Israel and the US." I never grew up hating anyone in the Middle East. Sesame Street and the aforementioned Rogers taught us to love all human beings. That's a major difference.

    I do recognize that although the West can generally disagree with people without resorting to violence as a society, our governments seem to have a different policy. Compound the brainwashing problem of those raised in the Middle East with our government's policy of sending drones into diverse Middle Eastern countries and bombing them. That is a huge problem that needs to stop. But that doesn't change a fundamental difference between raising our kids to love others and them raising kids to hate others.

    But these riots are ostensibly about this random film nobody in the US knew about except for maybe 150 people. That these people would kill over a film really presents them as barbarians and a bloodthirsty people, even though there are more complex issues underlying these problems.

    Sorry this comment is so long, but a difficult issue like this can't really be commented on with a simple snarky comment.


  • md. khairul islam says:

    Kill the writer and others ....right now.

  • md. khairul islam says:

    Kill the writer and others ....right now. Find and kill...kill...kill...

  • paul says:

    If there were any religion that deserves denigrating and scorn, it is islam. What a stupid, harmful disgusting religion. It should be banned fron the USA.

    • syed says:

      don't talk like a child paul.. all rubbish... soon u will see how Almighty will punish pig klein

    • jo says:

      Its people like you who make me sad to be an american. I bet you are also Christian. I am too and it is sad to see that many of the evil and shameful christian groups such as KKK are not nearly as hated as the rare Islamic radicals. For those of you who question why the religion does not denounce these radicals - there is not central leadership for the whole religion, it is partitioned. Paul, you do know that Muslims believe in the same god as christians and that Allah is God in Arabic, and also that they believe and share the prophet Abraham and Believe that Jesus was a prophet right? These religions are SOOO much more related than many think them to be and that just shows the ignorance of the world. My apologies go out to those who have been harmed by this video.

  • Anel Hamzic says:

    If u thinking about Holly Islam on that way we should have same opinion about catholics ! should we ?

  • Jake says:

    Well, Master Hamzic, are you talking about the Catholics of the 1400s? Because I don't recall any catholics rioting and murdering people in the last few centuries. Can't say the same for Islam, though.

    BTW, isn't Holly Islam the wife of Cat Stevens?

    • ABDUL REHMAN says:

      burn all the unit director producer because they are all bloody pigs.
      this is the less punishment in my view.

      • Jake says:

        Yes. The hate is swelling in you now. Take your weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment you make yourself more my servant. Give in to the darkside!!!!

        Seriously, you guys are making a great case for Islam with all your hate speech here.


        - Jake

  • Someone says:

    WHAT ? you say that Islam is the harmful and stupid religion? Are you talking serious? You know terrorisim was never meant to happen if other people who didnt believe in God or beleived in other reliegions mocked Islam. And not all Muslims are terrorists. Even Islam forbids people killing each other, but when people are against it and fighting us they deserve everything that happened to them. The Quran has proofed that God told us to respect other people from other religions but you people who think that youre the most open minded people in the universe are just some pathetic people who know that the Islam religion is the right religion but the spite in those people is too big for them to believe it.

    • Jake says:

      You are totally insane. "Terrorism was never meant to happen if other people who didnt believe in God or Belieived in other reliegions mocked Islam." Re-read that and explain how it is that Islam is the religion of peace. Let me assure you that all religions are mocked in every corner of the earth. Only the Muslims seem to retaliate by killing innocent people. If you want to have a civil debate about the problems causing this, feel free. But don't justify violence by suggesting that some random people in the world hurt your feelings.

      • syed says:

        shut up your mouth

      • jo says:

        its not 'the muslims' reacting, it is separated groups who have changed even their core beliefs to allow them to do things even though the Qur'an forbids it such as killing. Every religion has these renegades but many of them have been in smaller scales or died down over time (KKK?) Nobody is innocent and these 'Islamic Radicals' don't even follow most of the Islamic laws and principles.

  • Someone says:

    and yeah the guy named Jake, Muslims are not barbarians, people should deffend their rights even if only one person saw the movie. And no muslims dont provide hatered for their children, imagine you kicked off your country and off your house your property your everything that you worked on by force, and also your neighbors and thier small baby children killed being killed infront of their moms and dads, how would you react ? ohh i know you'll be like ohh im open minded who cares i'll just find happiness in the streets. People in palestine didnt do that they fought for their country, their homes, thier freedom and never gave up till now. And those people dont teach hate to their children, its just a fact that children pick up when theyre young and they ask their parents from where they are? what would you answer if you had kids and that happened to you? I am so interested to know what are you going to say.

    • Jake says:


      Here's the proof right here. Children being taught that Israeli's are evil and children calling for death to Israel and America.

      I'm smart enough to realize that not all Muslims are barbarians. But that doesn't excuse the large amount of violence perpetrated in the name of Islam. True Muslims should root out these extremists and bring them to justice. Not sit idly by while radical Islamists kill innocent Americans. So you can talk all you want about who is being open minded and who isn't, but don't come on this message board and spew a bunch of lies. Instead, why don't you be honest with yourself and figure out why children are taught such terrible things and raised to hate people. We don't raise our children to hate Muslims. But we certainly are questioning why Muslims are so violent and oppressive against americans for a movie we had nothing to do with.

      Good example. Just three weeks ago, NBC aired several things that are sacred to Mormons. Did the Mormons rise up and attack NBC, killing its executives? No. They expressed their anger through words and communication. When is the last time you saw effigies of Muslims burned in the streets of America? Are you so blinded by anger and hate that you have lost all semblances of common sense? Let me guess, you were raised with the same brainwashing you claim doesn't exist despite me showing it to you right in your face.

      If the Quran says not to kill people, why don't these Muslims follow its teachings?

  • You believe in fairy tales says:

    Muslims are not barbarians? Remember the massacre of over 170 CHILDREN at a school in Belsen? Who was responsible for that then?

    In the footage that the murders filmed using the camera of a parent they executed, they can be heard chanting 'allahu aakbar'. Who's cry is that? Catholics? Buddihsm? Yes you are correct it belongs to Islam.
    That ridiculous medieval idealism, who's time has finally come. An idealism that served the basic purpose (along with some so called religions at that the time) of controlling the population in the darker ages. And now in the 21st century, this idealism is no longer needed. It's outlived it's usefulness. The world now knows that angry god men living behind the clouds don't really exist.

    Except for you that is..and that is because you need something. Something that you don't already have inside you, something that you can't do for yourself. Something that should keep you up right as a man but instead you let someone else do for you. Something that should be there but is instead an empty space in you head that you fill with 1500 year old like fairy tales; fairy tales which keep you 1500 years in the past.

    Your idealism and the people who promote it, manipulate to the point where the mental stops which keep us alive are removed or overwritten (eg suicide bomber). To the specific targeting and killing of infants becomes legitamate. Your idealism is the ultimate crime against all humanity and the world is getting ready to burn it.

    Look at these savages. Their minds are infected with a thought virus. It's their heads which need removing.

  • TruthBeTold says:

    I am very disgusted, offended, and ashamed to have witnessed such hatred, and provoking propaganda from a so called American. I cannot, and will not even associate these people with Christianity as no true lover or follower of Jesus son of Mary (peace and blessing upon him) would ever make an attempt to dishonor Hazrat Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him). Two men once came before Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) and one complimented him on how beautiful he was. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded by telling that individual "you have spoken the truth", and then another man came to him and told Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) that he was the most hideous despicable creature he had ever seen, and Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) replied to him "you have spoken the truth". The companion who was with Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) at the time asked him why he agreed with both men when their statements were complete opposites of each other. Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) responded when the first man looked upon me and saw beauty, he only saw a mirror of himself, and when the second man came and stated I was hideous he too saw a mirror of himself. With this account I inform you that everything portrayed in your sick video is who YOU ARE! You have no right to even utter the blessed names of Jesus son of Mary (peace be upon him), or Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Both live honorable lives, and never lie or stole from anyone. They never caused harm to anyone, and this is a historic fact! You can continue to try and deceive people, and cause a war between muslims and christians but this will NEVER HAPPEN! You have no credibility! You can read many books about the works, and accomplishments of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) in his lifetime which have saved generations up until today! What accomplishments do you have? When you die what will you be known for? You are worse than dung! Even dung goes into the earth and helps bring new life! When you die the earth will REJECT YOU! You will one day be raised before the creator of us all, and be questioned about the unforgivable mischief you have caused! So go back to your zionist supporters who pushed you to make this video to cause a clash between muslims and christians! Go back to them and tell them MISSION FAILED! YOU COWARD!

  • rick says:

    band it in the usa

  • rick says:

    stop funding to the brother hood yesterday whats wrong w/this pres?

  • teter says:

    Religion of peace? Do you call this a peaceful reaction to probably the worst movie ever made?

  • teter says:

    Was the slaughtered U.S ambassador and his personnell responsible for the movie? Just because somebody provoke you does that mean that you can kill and stone all citizens of a certain country? And U.S, how can you apologize when your ambassador got killed. If your brother gets murdered, do you apologize to the murderer if your your cousin provoked him?

  • Muhammad Qayyum says:

    stop this film and punish the film maker, it writer, producer, director and actors and actresses

    • free says:

      we are free you are not we can say what we want this is the usa

    • free says:

      the people of the brotherhood should be hung in the streets for all to see for the good of all man kind they need to know we will not have this in this world.

  • J Limbo says:

    This film shows the roots of pogroms executed by moslims on the Koptic community.
    At the film beginnung' is shown muslim attack on a Koptic fammuly while the police holds back' doesn't invovlve and after compition of the raid on the Koptic family they arrests people from the Koptic community and blame them as being responsuble for the progrom.
    On next scenes, the film shows the origin that lead to such an approach.
    Removal of the film from goofle website is like breaking the mirror.

  • mohommad says:

    I am the great mohommad i have returned to earth because i have run out of virgins and need some more oh buy the way i am really gay so i will need 70 little boys this time.

  • Darkspawn says:

    Kill the writer,producer,director,actor,actress WTF why your people turn into disgusting creature if you wanna fight then fine i will send your 135 missile i know you i will find you and kill you i swear DIE MUSLIM DIE!!!!

  • duttslent says:

    WbjxZWFN [url=http://uggzurich.webs.com/]Ugg Zürich[/url]
    yqtpEBHjk http://canadagooseoutlet.loggy.nl/
    ebwnrurzda [url=http://uggzurich.webs.com/#1994]Ugg Zürich[/url]
    LKDnZmhhp cwmoiu [url=http://monclerjackenschweiz0.webs.com/]Moncler Jacken Schweiz[/url]
    PctFCCPTiyo NxpdSXOW [url=http://supraschuheschweiz.webs.com/]Supra Schuhe[/url]
    xdnmESQis UcgaYSZQ http://ugg-outlet.oneminutesite.it/