YouTube banned in Kuwait

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Kuwait - Kuwait's Ministry of Communication has banned YouTube for hosting content that is offensive to Muslims. The ministry has sent a memo to all the country's Internet service providers asking them to take YouTube off-line. As of today, YouTube is still available because technical issues relating to the blockage are still being worked out.

According to the ministry, YouTube has several videos that portray Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in an unflattering light.  One video shows a man singing Koran phrases while playing a musical instrument and another video flashes several cartoon drawings of the prophet.

This isn't the first time a country has banned YouTube.  Brazilian courts temporarily banned the service after a steamy video involving a Brazilian supermodel was posted.  Last year Thailand banned YouTube after someone posted a video showing feet superimposed on the Thai king's head.  Finally, Turkey banned YouTube after several insulting videos about the country were posted.  All of those countries lifted the blocks after a few months.

Like many things on the Internet trying to ban videos or YouTube often has disastrous consequences for the people doing the banning.  In what's been dubbed the Barbara Streisand effect, anytime content is restricted people will try to go around the block and in many cases they copy the prohibited content to as many places as possible. So while the majority of the Internet probably hasn't seen these offensive YouTube videos you can be sure that they are being distributed as we speak.

Read more ... Kuwait Times