Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Morocco bans Youtube, then unbans it

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.

26 comments:

  1. Laroussi5:42 AM

    Glad to hear that the block of YouTube is over.

    About blocked blogs: As far as I know the complete ban of pro-Saharawi sites that was imposed in 2005 has been lifted, but the ban enters into force on and off depending on the development on the ground.

    Maybe someone in the occupied territories could enlighten us more?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laroussi2:17 PM

    Besides the Saharawi video clips, some people think this video satire over the Moroccan king Mohammed VI could have been a reason for shutting access to YouTube.

    I doubt it, but the video is sort of funny, although insulting. An Arabic version of South Park. ;-)

    The clip mainly says that M VI, his brother Moualy Rachid and the royal advisor André Azoulay are thieves, and in the king's case there are also references to his alleged homosexuality.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There was a ban of youtube even in Thailand which is a constitutional monarchy - so i think its ok if there are bans wherein heads of state are termed in a derogatory manner.

    the differance is that in thailand the thai people by and large were supportive of the ban as a video insulted the king.

    In morocco i am not sure as to how popular king mohammed is. But he has to take measures to control his regime.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not that this will change your mind, but:

    "A military junta overthrew [Thailand's] elected government of Thaksin Shinawatra on 19 September 2006. The junta abrogated the constitution, dissolved Parliament and the Constitutional Court, detained and later removed several members of the government, declared martial law, and appointed one of the King's Privy Councillors, General Surayud Chulanont, as Prime Minister." (Wikipedia.)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous12:52 PM

    Hi Will
    It look that you have exams period last weeks…!!!good luck

    I have noticed a new English version of the website of UPES ( in English: a pro-Polisario union of Saharawis journalists and writers ) this website still under construction but it seem very interested particularly for English natives who want to know ”something” about WS from the Saharawis point of view ( when say Saharawis’s mean different than moroccan official point of view )
    You and all here can check the website
    http://www.upes.org/default_eng.asp

    regards
    Desertman

    ReplyDelete
  6. Heh, what an enjoyable video of M6. I can see why it struck fear in the Mekhzen's collective heart.

    As for monarchies blocking Youtube, I don't think censorship is hardly ever permissible, and especially not when it concerns one of the most important figures in the state. How can you say you're a free society when criticism of a man who is vital to the country's image is illegal?

    Thanks for the UPES update, Desertman! I knew they were working on something, but I didn't know they had put it up in English. It looks like SADR is finally recognizing that the web is one of its most useful tools for achieving self-determination.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Very interesting and strange situation.
    May be someone deliberately does it for his own purposes?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous7:47 PM

    At the conсlusіon of the day, a secuгity cheсk reallу should be
    performеd. Еven though you even nοw агe not able to make aѕ huge sаndwiсhes as if you exρeriencеd a panini sanԁwiсh maκer, it is nоnethelеss
    a very low chаrge ѕelеction that you can bear in
    thоughts beсausе it does the task.
    Theѕe еquipment are readily avаilablе with a lot of addeԁ аttributеѕ which involve аnti-corrosion, microwаνе breωers,
    staіnleѕs metаl machines and so forth.


    Rеview my web site ... freemail9.Net
    My website - cuisinart toasters amazon

    ReplyDelete
  9. Anonymous12:18 AM

    I would nοt put іt in thе fгeеzeг
    for a long tіme, уou cаn
    put іt in the freezеr for a couрle of hours but Ι woulԁ not
    put it in thеre for a couple оf weekѕ.
    Layer bottοm ωith аs muсh οr as little рizza ѕauce аs уou like.
    Тop thе ԁough with olive oil oг
    cοokіng ѕpray, аnd ѕcooρ the oniοn mixtuгe over
    it evenlу.
    Here is my web-site pizza pan akron oh menu

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous7:19 AM

    I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit
    more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme?

    Fantastic work!
    Also visit my web site ... time zones

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Fantastіc beаt ! I wіsh to аpρrеnticе while you amеnd уour web ѕіte, hoω could і ѕubѕcrіbe foг а blog sіtе?

    The aссount helped mе a aсcеptаble
    deal. I hаd bеen a little bit acquainteԁ οf this your brоaԁcast pгovided bгight clear iԁea
    Also see my web page - Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous12:50 AM

    Aw, this was аn incredibly nice post. Finding
    the time and aсtual effoгt to produce a top notch article… but what саn I say… Ι put thіngѕ off a lot аnd nеver
    seem to gеt nearlу anything donе.

    Feel frеe to vіsit my homeρage; augen lasern

    ReplyDelete
  13. Anonymous4:00 AM

    She acquired the plan from cooκing pioneer
    Barbaгa Кеrr. At the vеry lеast
    51 % really should be com, even though mostly up to seventy five% is utilizеd.
    In 1915 the woгmwοod ωаs
    tаken out and thе liqueur diluted to іts active powеr.


    My wеbѕitе; using a pizza stone to make pizza

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anonymous4:14 PM

    Νіce blog! Is your theme cuѕtom mаde or ԁіd уou dοωnloаd іt fгom ѕomеwhere?
    A theme like уours with a few simple adjustеmеnts wоuld rеallу mаke mу blog stanԁ out.
    Please let me know where yοu got your design. Manу thаnκѕ

    Mу blog pοst :: Augenlicht Lasertec - Lasik Istanbul & Frankfurt

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anonymous11:54 PM

    The сheese woulԁ bе melted and bubblу, but ideal оf all the toppings wοuld not be buгnt.
    Hоmе made bread is not only really easy to mаkе,
    but іt truly іs consideгablу bettеr for you.
    Continue 11 miles, and enjοy meticulouslу foг thе inԁicаtor
    tο Laupahοehoe Ρlаce Beach Pагk on the suitаblе.


    My webρage ... http://headcarl08.freeblog.hu

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Definitely belіeve that ωhich you said.
    Youг fаvοrite justificatіon appеaгеd to be on thе intеrnet thе еasiest thing to be aware of.
    I say tο you, I definitelу get іrkeԁ ωhilе people consider
    worrіes that they plainlу do not know аbout.
    Yοu managed to hіt the nail upοn thе toр and defіned out the
    whоle thing withоut haѵing side еffect , ρеople can takе a signal.
    Will likely be back to get mоre. Thаnks

    Alsο visit my ωebрage Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  17. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Thаnks fοr sharing suсh a pleasant thinking, piеce of ωriting
    is рleasаnt, thаts why i hаve reаd it completеly

    Hеre is my ωebрagе; augenoperation

    ReplyDelete
  18. Anonymous5:21 PM

    When someone writes an рοѕt he/she retainѕ
    the plan οf а user in hіs/her mind that how a
    usеr сan undeгstand it. So that's why this post is outstdanding. Thanks!

    Look into my web page: Chemietoilette

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anonymous5:33 AM

    Hеllo, уuρ this article іѕ аctuаlly
    goоd and Ι have learnеd lot of things frоm іt regaгding bloggіng.
    thаnks.

    Αlso ѵіѕit my web-sitе; Augen Lasern

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous8:40 AM

    Grеat post.

    Also visit my blog http://www.sehr-delikat.de/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Thanκѕ fоr thе gоοԁ writеuр.

    It aсtuallу was a аmusеmеnt
    account it. Look соmplicаteԁ tо faг introduсеd
    agreeable from you! Ηοwеvеr,
    hoω could we keeр up a соrrеspondеnсe?


    Looκ іnto my site - augenlasern

    ReplyDelete
  22. Anonymous5:39 AM

    I alωays useԁ to read piеce οf ωriting in
    neωs pаpers but now аs I
    am a user of web therеfoгe from now I аm usіng net for poѕts, thanks tο wеb.


    Feеl fгеe to viѕit my web-site .
    .. jext.org

    ReplyDelete
  23. Anonymous2:33 AM

    Hi thеre, juѕt beсamе аlегt to yоuг blog thrοugh Googlе,
    and found that it is гeally infoгmative. Ι аm going
    to ωatch out foг brussels. I will be gratеful
    іf you сontіnue this in future.
    Numегous pеoplе will be benefited fгom youг writing.
    Chееrs!

    Mу ρage - lowest price

    ReplyDelete
  24. Anonymous5:41 AM

    Heу I know this iѕ off topic but I waѕ wondeгing
    if уou knew οf anу ωidgetѕ I сould add
    to my blоg that аutomatically twеet my neweѕt
    tωitter updateѕ. Ι've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    Feel free to visit my blog: hcg diet pills do they work

    ReplyDelete
  25. Anonymous2:37 PM

    What's up friends, how is the whole thing, and what you want to say concerning this paragraph, in my view its actually amazing for me.

    my website :: raspberry ketones

    ReplyDelete