Google Has No Plans to Rethink Video Status

SAN FRANCISCO — Google said on Friday that it would not comply with a White House request to reconsider the anti-Islam video that has set off violent protests in the Arab world in light of its rules banning hate speech on YouTube, which it owns.

 

Google said it had already determined that the video did not violate its terms of service regarding hate speech. In this case, the video stays up because it is against the Islam religion but not Muslim people.

 

These actions came after Google temporarily blocked the video on Wednesday in Egypt and Libya of its own volition — not because it violated laws or YouTube’s terms of service — an extraordinary measure that it said it took in response to the delicacy of the situation. The video is accessible in the rest of the world, even as protests spread to nearly 20 countries, from North Africa to Indonesia.

Meanwhile, a Facebook spokeswoman confirmed that the company had restricted access to a link to the film in Pakistan, at the request of its government.

 

Kevin Bankston, director of the free expression project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a nonprofit group that focuses on digital civil liberties, said that Google, as a private company, could decide what was appropriate on its sites and what was not. But he added, “Considering the power that many of these platforms have, it’s important for them to be as clear and transparent as possible about those decisions.”

Abas Idris, Muslim Security Guard, Gets $465,000 In Calif. Harassment Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco jury awarded $465,000 to a Muslim security guard who says his co-workers and supervisors called him a terrorist and an al-Qaida member.

The 27-year-old says he quit his job as a security guard for Los Angeles-based Andrews International in February 2010 after the company failed to take his complaints about harassment seriously. He had served as a guard at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in the Presidio.

Jews, Muslims seek to remove initiative to ban male circumcision from San Francisco ballot

SAN FRANCISCO — An unlikely coalition of Jews and Muslims on Wednesday filed a lawsuit to block a San Francisco ballot measure that would ban the circumcision of male children, a procedure widely practiced by members of both faiths.

The case filed in San Francisco Superior Court asks the court to remove the voter initiative from the city’s Nov. 8 ballot, arguing that California law bars local governments from restricting medical procedures.
The plaintiffs include five Jews, three Muslims, two physicians who regularly perform circumcisions, the Anti-Defamation League and the local chapter of the Jewish Community Relations Council.