Blocking of YouTube

Blocking of YouTube

YouTube, the second most visited website (according to Alexa Internet), has been censored several times in some countries since its inception. These countries include the following: Armenia, Brazil, the People's Republic of China, Indonesia, Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.


Windows Live Messenger

On May 10 2008, Microsoft temporarily banned functional YouTube links from its Live Messenger Service. Microsoft has yet to comment on the blocking. The sending of any functional link starting with either http:// or www. with the string "" contained within it will return an error message saying "The following message could not be delivered to all recipients: (original message here)." Coincidentally, Messenger TV, a new video service provided by Microsoft is to be released the same week. [cite web
last =
first = Vikrant
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Microsoft Starts Blocking YouTube Links From Being Shared On MSN And Windows Live Messenger
work = BETA Daily
publisher =
date = 2008-05-10
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accessdate = 2008-05-10

On May 10 2008 at around 21:30 GMT British Summer Time it appears that YouTube links can now be sent again.

By educational institutions

Brigham Young University

Some U.S. Colleges are also blocking YouTube access, including Brigham Young University, a private university run by the LDS (Mormon) Church.Fact|date=July 2008

By country


As Armenia has declared a state of emergency as a result of the post-election protests [ [ Why is YouTube blocked in Armenia?] - Hrag Vartinian] , YouTube has been blocked in Armenia since March 2 2008. Under this state of emergency, no media is allowed to broadcast except for official news [ [ YouTube Blocked in Armenia?] - by Philip Lenssen, "Google Blogoscoped"] .


YouTube is being sued by Brazilian model and MTV VJ Daniela Cicarelli (better known as Ronaldo's ex-fiancée) on the grounds that the site makes available video footage made by a paparazzo in which she and her boyfriend are having sex on a Spanish beach. The lawsuit requires that YouTube be blocked in Brazil until all copies of the video are removed. On Saturday, January 6, 2007, a legal injunction ordered that filters be put in place to prevent users in Brazil from accessing the website. [ [ Total Security - O Seu Portal de Segurança ] ] [ [ Radio Fandango - Cachoeira do sul - À VOZ DA CIDADE ] ]

The effectiveness of the measure has been questioned, since the video is available not only on YouTube, but also on other sites as part of an Internet phenomenon. On Tuesday, January 9, 2007, the same court overturned their previous decision, ordering the filters removed, although the footage itself remained forbidden, but without technical support for its blockage. [ [,,OI1337815-EI4802,00.html Justiça determina liberação do YouTube - Terra - Internet ] ] After the banning of YouTube in Brazil there has been a website called [] as an unofficial replacement for YouTube in Brazil.


On April 1, 2008, Indonesian information minister, Muhammad Nuh, wrote to YouTube asking them to remove a controversial Dutch film, Fitna, made by Dutch right-wing politician, Geert Wilders. The Indonesian government allowed two days for the removal of the video, or YouTube would be blocked in Indonesia. On April 4, 2008, Muhammad Nuh asked all Internet providers to block the access to YouTube. [Cite web | url = | title = Indonesia Seeks to Block YouTube Over Anti-Koran Film | date = April 2, 2008 | accessdate = 2008-04-03 | work = New York Times] [Cite web | url = | title = Menkominfo 'Ultimatum' ISP Blokir YouTube | date = April 4, 2008 | accessdate = 2008-04-04 | work = | language = Indonesian language] On April 5, 2008, YouTube was blocked for testing by one ISP. [Cite web | url = | title = YouTube Terblokir karena 'Ulah' Satu ISP | date = April 5, 2008 | accessdate = 2008-04-04 | work = | language = Indonesian language] Finally, on April 8, YouTube, along with MySpace, Metacafe, Rapidshare, Multiply, Liveleak and Fitna's official site, were blocked in Indonesia. [Cite web | url = | title = Speedy Blokir 7 Situs, Pengusaha Kecil Mulai Menjerit! | date = April 8, 2008 | accessdate = 2008-04-04 | work = | language = Indonesian language] YouTube's ban was lifted on April 10.Fact|date=April 2008 There may still be some blocking in May 2008 according to local inhabitants.


On December 3, 2006, Iran blocked YouTube, along with several other sites, after declaring them "immoral". The YouTube ban came after a video was posted online that appears to show an Iranian soap opera star having sex. [cite web|url=,,1963166,00.html|title=Censorship fears rise as Iran blocks access to top websites|date=November 4, 2006|accessdate = 2006-12-17]


On May 25, 2007 the state-owned Maroc Telecom blocked all access to YouTube. [cite web |url= |title="Morocco blocks access to YouTube" |accessdate=2007-05-27 |format= | ] There were no reasons given as to why YouTube was blocked, but speculations are that it might have something to do with some posted pro-separatist group Polisario clips (Polisario being the Western Sahara independence movement) or because of some videos criticizing King Mohammed VI. The government ban did not concern the other two private internet-providers, Wana and Meditel. YouTube became accessible again on May 30, 2007 after "Maroc Telecom" unofficially announced that the denied access to the website was a mere "technical glitch". [cite web |url= |title="YouTube again accessible via Maroc Telecom" |accessdate=2007-05-30 |format= | ]


YouTube was blocked in Pakistan following a decision taken by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority on February 22 2007 because of the number of "non-Islamic objectionable videos." [ [ "Access to YouTube blocked until further notice because of "non-Islamic" videos"] , at Reporters Without Borders.] One report specifically names Fitna, a controversial Dutch film, as the basis for the block. [ [ Pakistan blocks YouTube website] ] Pakistan, an Islamic republic, has ordered its ISPs to block access to YouTube "for containing blasphemous web content/movies." [ Pakistan blocks YouTube for 'blasphemous' content: officials] , Yahoo News] (Blasphemy law in Pakistan calls for life imprisonment or death.) The action effectively blocked YouTube access worldwide for several hours on February 24. [ "Pakistan move knocked out YouTube"] , "CNN", February 25, 2007. Retrieved March 5 2008.]

This follows increasing unrest in Pakistan by Islamic extremists over the re-printing of the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons which depict satirical Criticism of Islam. However, it has been suggested by some Pakistani vigilante web sites and electoral process watchdog groups that the block was imposed largely to distract viewers from videos alleging vote-rigging by the ruling MQM party in the recently concluded general elections. Allegations of suppressing vote-rigging videos by the Musharraf administration are also being leveled by Pakistani bloggers, newspapers, media, and Pakistani anti-Musharraf opposition parties.

On February 26, 2007, the ban was lifted after the website had removed the objectionable content from its servers at the request of the government.cite news | title = Pakistan lifts YouTube ban | url = | publisher = ABC News | date = 2007-02-26 | accessdate = 2007-02-26]

People's Republic of China

As part of the Golden Shield Internet censoring program, YouTube has been blocked in the People's Republic of China since October 15, 2007 [Schwankert, Steven. [ "YouTube blocked in China; Flickr, Blogspot restored"] , IDG News, October 18, 2007. Retrieved on March 3, 2008] .

audi Arabia

YouTube is accessible in Saudi Arabia, but the page that makes you confirm your date of birth is blocked, preventing the viewing of any YouTube video that is flagged for adults.Fact|date=July 2008


YouTube was just blocked in Sudan by the Sudanese National Telecommunication Corporation (NTC) because YouTube started uploading videos that are bad and that bring bad images. Before that it was accessible and you can make accounts and confirm and everything else. It was just like the YouTube in the United States but is now blocked. It will soon be unblocked, maybe but the date of the unblocking is unknown.


YouTube is currently blocked in Syria. The main ISP in Syria, SyriaTel, claims that it cannot handle the bandwidth costs generated at the moment and will unblock it in the future.Fact|date=July 2008


During the week of March 8 2007, YouTube was blocked in Thailand. [cite web|url=|title=YouTube seems blocked in Thailand|date=March 10, 2007|accessdate = 2007-03-10] Many bloggers believed the reason for the blocking was a posted video of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's speech on CNN. The government did not confirm or provide reasons for the ban, but YouTube was accessible again on March 10 2007.

On the night of April 3 2007, YouTube was again blocked in Thailand. [cite web|url=|title=YouTube Blocked Again|date=April 04, 2007|accessdate = 2007-04-04] The government cited a video on the site that it called "insulting" to King Bhumibol Adulyadej. [cite web|url=|title=For some users, YouTube disappears|date=April 04, 2007|accessdate = 2007-04-04] However, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology claimed that it would unblock YouTube in a few days, after websites containing references to this video are blocked instead of the entire website. [cite web|url=|title=YouTube to help block web access to pages insulting King|date=April 07] Communications Minister Sitthichai Pookaiyaudom said, "When they decide to withdraw the clip, we will withdraw the ban." [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Whose Tube? | date=2004-04-14 | publisher= | url = | work =The Economist | pages =71 | accessdate = 2007-04-16 | language = ] Shortly after this incident the internet technology blog Mashable was blocked from Thailand over the reporting of the YouTube clips in question. [cite news
first = Pete
last = Cashmore
title = Banned in Thailand
url =
work = Mashable
date = 2004-04-18
] YouTube was unblocked on August 30, 2007 after YouTube reportedly agreed to block videos deemed offensive by Thai authorities. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Ban on YouTube lifted after deal | date=2007-08-31 | publisher= | url = | work =The Nation | pages = | accessdate = | language = ]

On September 21, 2007, Thai authorities announced they were seeking a court order to block videos that had recently appeared on YouTube accusing Privy Council president Prem Tinsulanonda of attempting to manipulate the royal succession to make himself Thailand's king. [cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=BDSI seeks to block YouTube videos | date=2007-09-22 | publisher= | url = | work =Bangkok Post | pages = | accessdate = | language = ]


Youtube has been blocked in Tunisia since at least November 2 2007, with a forged HTTP 404 error message appearing instead. [cite web
url =|title=Tunisia: is Youtube blocked?
date = 2007-11-02
first = Sami
last = Ben Gharbia
] The reasons for such an action are not immediately known, and no explanations have been given.


Türk Telekom blocked YouTube on March 6 2007 for letting videos insulting Turks and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, to be shown, in an escalation of what some call a "virtual war" between Greeks and Turks on YouTube, with people from each side posting videos to berate the other. [cite web|url=,,2028543,00.html|title=Turkey pulls plug on YouTube over Ataturk 'insults'|date=March 7, 2007|accessdate = 2007-03-07] The video was first mentioned on CNN Türk and the İstanbul public prosecutor sued YouTube for insulting Turkishness. [cite web|url=|title=Turkey bans YouTube|date=March 8, 2007|accessdate = 2007-03-10] The court suspended access to YouTube pending removal of the video. The ban was strongly criticized as censorship in the press and by the general public. YouTube lawyers sent documentary of removal to public prosecutor and access was restored on March 9 2007. [cite web|url=|title=Turkey revokes YouTube ban|date=March 9, 2007|accessdate = 2007-03-09]

YouTube has been blocked again on January 18, 2008 for the same reasons. On January 22, 2008, the Ankara court's decision is to not lift the ban, and this time, YouTube is blocked again because of the Sivas court's rule. Blocking of YouTube ceased on January 24, 2008 without announcement or indication in the press as to any related judicial action.

Access to YouTube was blocked again for Türk Telekom users from March 19 to March 27, 2008 as per a decision by Ankara court because of another video insulting Atatürk. Banning lifted after deletion of the video.

On May 5, 2008, YouTube was blocked again by Telecommunication Ministry, according to the order of Ankara 11. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi, April 24, 2008 of 2008/468. Banning lifted on May 12 2008. The ban was imposed again the same day according to the order of Ankara 5. Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi, April 30, 2008 of 2008/599. YouTube has remained blocked ever since. Another reason of the blocking is doesn't have a certification of authorisation in the country.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE's telecom regulatory authority has blocked YouTube, with the Etisalat ISP in the UAE citing "presence of adult content on the website which is clearly against the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the UAE". The site is now open but the confirming date of birth pages still blocked. [Wade, Matthew. [ YouTube block remains] . August 17, 2006.]


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