YouTube is currently ranked the 3rd most visited site in the world. With over 100 Billion views a day, it is almost impossible to find a soul in the world that hasn’t heard its name. Recently, however, certain countries have been starting to decide to block YouTube, or sections of YouTube, to their general population.
In 2008 Armenia blocked YouTube after a disputed presidential debate where protesters uploaded videos of police brutality. YouTube has been blocked in China since 2007 to control information, and it was blocked in 2006 in Iran because it is considered “Immoral”.
and it has been blocked in many many more countries, and most of them seem to have a surprising reason in common. They try to control the information that their public receives. Why? Most would assume because if you can control the masses you shall remain in power.
Here’s a list of more countries that are blocking YouTube, and why.
The Innocence of Muslims is the name of a movie that has recently released a trailer on YouTube. The trailer hasn’t actually gotten that big with only 16 million views, but even so, it has caused a wave of riots across the Middle East. The movie trailer starts off normal enough, but it goes on to express anti-Muslim material throughout the trailer. It depicts that all Muslims are violent, savage, uneducated barbarians, and it viciously insults the profit Mohammad (our equivalent of Jesus).
The movie has caused the Arab Spring to become even more violent. Protests in Egypt, Syria and Libya have caused mass disturbances, resulting in the death of an American Ambassador in Libya. The Innocence of Muslim has started to become blocked on YouTube in countries where there has been the biggest protests, such as Libya and Syria, but personally, I think YouTube should just take down the video all together.
We don’t need a video like this to be advertised to the world.
‘Innocence of Muslims’ YouTube Video Spurs Protests Across Mideast
This is an Article in response to the film “The Innocence of Muslims” it goes to explain the damages the movie has caused in the Middle East. There has been protests in Yemen, Morocco, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. While most of the protests have not too serious, the Embassy in Yemen was set on fire and the Ambassador in Libya was assassinated. In Iran about 500 protestors tried to demonstrate in the Swiss embassy which the U.S. conducts its diplomatic affairs through, but since there is no U.S. embassy in Iran, the police were successful in keeping protesters away from the neutral embassy.
The YouTube video has now been removed in the majority of Middle Eastern countries, and some countries such as Afghanistan have been trying to take steps to block YouTube entierly. A very scary thought from the point of universal free speech.
This Article was published September 13th, 2012 by Alex Fitzpatrick.
So if you are interested in the Middle East at all, here is five people who are interesting to follow on Twitter.
#1. SaloumehZ is the first person you should follow. To be honest I have no clue who she is other than she lives in Tehran, Iran, but her tweets are fascinating. Every time a big event happens in the Middle East she posts about it almost the day it happens. She was the first person I heard about Malala from. She is a great person to follow if you are interested in hearing about news in the Middle East.
#2. Anthropologist is another great person to follow. They are an Internet think tank that acts like sort of a private detective. They post interesting articles about the Taliban and other explosive events in the Middle East. At the same time they also try to find followers that may know something about terrorists wether it be in America, Europe, or the Middle East. They are extremely interesting to follow if you are interested in the Taliban.
#3. Mark Schaefer is super interesting to follow if you are interested in the social media. He tweets about articles that have to do with social internet sites such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace. He is the Chieftain of the blog “Grow” and a college professor. If he sounds interesting check out his latest tweeted article on “Three ways social media is changing the world“
#4. Mohammad Alsuwaidan is another great person to follow on Twitter. He is a Psychiatrist specialized in Mood & Anxiety, Public Health and Medical Education who is also an Arab who lives in Toronto, Canada. His posts are about how the social media is being restricted in the Middle East, and he also tweets about any news that pops up that might be relevant to the Middle East. He is super interesting if you are interested in how the social media is being restricted in the Middle Eastern countries.
#5. Mafaz Al-Suwaidan is an awesome person to follow, but you probably will need to be able to speak Standard Arabic for most of her posts. She is a Freelance Journalist who lives in Kuwait and writes super interesting articles from the perspective of an Arab living in the Middle East. Check her out and look through her tweets, her picture of “150,000 marching for their dignity” is amazing.
Okay, so here I am in the middle of writing my 1100 word essay and I come across an article about Mohamed Bouazizi.
Mohamed was a 26 year old owner of a fruit stand in Tunisia. He also is a political Martyr who poured paint thinner on himself and then proceeded to set himself on fire.
I want anyone who is reading this to just take a moment and forget all previous notions you may have about Arabs. Forget all of the racist, stereotypical things that you are bombarded with every day and think about this for a second.
Mohamed was 26. He had a family of seven. He made about $73 a week on average, about $1.46 an hour. And he set himself on FIRE. Think about the conditions it takes a man to do that, and realize he was not an extremist, or mentally unstable, but he was simply part of the bottom 50% of the Middle Eastern population and was pushed to his limits.
There is a reason why the Middle East is being turned upside down.
Here is an Article about his life.
*Edit: Maybe the bottom 47% would be more appropriate!
It is no new occurrence for people to rise up against their governments. In the Middle East, this is happening once again on a very large scale, but the reason for the uprisings isn’t like any of the previous ones. In the 21st century we have more technology than ever before (this post is part that technology) and information now travels faster than ever before. Social media has created a world where it is almost impossible to hide secrets, what happens in one part of the world is known everywhere.
The result of that is that countries in the Middle East, that once where able to practice “shady” forms of government, can no longer continue along the current path of operations. This change in the Middle East is referred to as the Arab Spring.
So for those of you who haven’t found out already, the newest “big story” in the Middle East is about a little girl named Malala. She is a 9th grader that was gunned down trying to go to school by Muslim fundamentalists. The saddest part of this story, however, is that it’s not the first time that it has happened.
The difference for Malala, however, has been the time period in which her crime has been committed. 20 Years ago this would have gone unnoticed and she would have been just another victim, but now she is a symbol for educational reformists in the middle east. That is the beauty of the social media. While many may complain about our dwindling privacy, there is no longer a shadow for extremists to hide in.