Why does King Mohammed VI hate these two millionaires? I don't know, but he does. From sometime Sunday to today, Youtube was blocked on Morocco's major internet provider, Maroc Telecom, according to Maghrebism.
Fortunately, access was restored today. Bloggers are claiming victory, and they certainly publicized the blocking. They were helped by Reporters Without Borders and the Associated Press, both of which wrote pieces about the block. Youtube probably got the ax because of its pro-Western Saharan independence videos, some of which are admittedly pretty awesome. Other people cited Islamic revivalist or anti-monarchist sentiments on Youtube as the reason for the ban.
Youtube was joined in Maroc Telecom's Index Librorum Prohibitorum by previous inductees Livejournal and Google Earth. Kudos to Taamarbuuta of Morocco Report for her criticism of those in Morocco who take a "What me worry?" approach to censorship. She also aggregated some of the links I've mentioned here.
The whole affair is odd because only Maroc Telecom customers couldn't reach Youtube. As Netdur explains, the smaller ISPs still let people reach Youtube, suggesting that Maroc Telecom was either anticipating a government ruling or acting on its own.
Speaking of censorship, according to Morocco Report, One Hump is one of the few pro-Western Sahara blogs available in Morocco. I used to think all Blogger accounts had been blocked long ago, but Google Analytics metrics told me otherwise. After the United States, this blog is viewed most often in Morocco, with 114 of the 202 visits coming from Rabat.
Thanks to Morocco Report and commenter Laroussi for simultaneously tipping me off to the Youtube blocking. Orangutans for all people, regardless of nation.