The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Egyptian Embassy in Washington has made a formal request to YouTube, which is owned by Google Inc. “to remove a video of a woman being sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square during a rally supporting the country’s newly elected president.” The date of the assault is not listed, but on Monday, June 9th, Egyptian police “arrested seven men for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old student during celebrations marking the inauguration of the country’s new president in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square the day before, security officials said,” says AP. It’s not clear if the 19 year-old student and the girl in the video are the same. Sexual assaults have risen in the country since former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in January 2011.
Egypt’s new President, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, is calling on police to crackdown on sexual assaults. He even took time out to visit the victim whose assault has gone viral. It was during his visit with her that she asked President al-Sisi to find a way to remove the video show her getting assaulted on Youtube.
The request was made, but the AP claims the answer left little: “YouTube has removed copies of the video in which the woman can be identified, but is allowing other versions that blur her image to remain on the site because the company considers them to be newsworthy. Viewers who want to watch the blurred video also most vouch that they are at least 18 years old, according to YouTube.”
Youtube’s statement says, “We respect an individual’s right to privacy and have always removed videos entirely where there is a privacy complaint and an individual is clearly identifiable.”
“My daughter watches it every day and collapses.”
What do you think? Does the make up of Google’s senior management team have an effect of decisions? Does Youtube have a responsibility to comply or is it each individual account?