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Google’s YouTube Blocks Film Behind Protests in Libya

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc.’s YouTube video-sharing service is blocking access in Egypt and Libya to a film about the Prophet Muhammad that is viewed as blasphemous by Muslims, that sparked protests and an attack responsible for the deaths of four Americans.

“This video -- which is widely available on the Web -- is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in an e-mailed statement. “However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”

A 14-minute clip of the disputed film, “The Innocence of Islam,” aired on YouTube, shows a fictional attack by Muslims on a Christian family followed by an account of the origins of Islam depicting Muhammad as a womanizer. The video spurred an attack that killed U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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