Published September 15, 2012
Google will not remove the YouTube video that has been cited as the spark for demonstrations raging across the Middle East and North Africa, the company announced Friday.
The decision comes following a White House request for the trailer for ‘Innocence of Muslims’ to be reviewed under the company’s policies.
The Obama administration was not explicitly asking YouTube to remove the film, but to check if it meets their standards.
The company determined that the video was within guidelines.
"We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions," a Google spokeswoman said. "This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video -- which is widely available on the Web -- is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, we've restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia as well as in Libya and Egypt given the very sensitive situations in these two countries."
The trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" has been used as a rallying cry by those attacking U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Several top lawmakers, though, have questioned whether the film -- in the case of the deadly attack on the consulate in Libya -- was used as a cover to execute a pre-planned attack on American officials.
Critics have accused the Obama administration of putting too much focus on the film itself, and faulted the administration for continuing to condemn it.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a ceremony Friday marking the return of the remains of the four Americans killed, again described that video as "senseless" and "unacceptable." But she also called on leaders in those countries to stop the violence.
"The people of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob. Reasonable people and responsible leaders in these countries need to do everything they can to restore security and hold accountable those behind these violent acts," she said.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that federal probation officials are investigating the California filmmaker linked to the video. He had previously been convicted of financial crimes.
Fox News' Wendell Goler contributed to this report.