Published On: Sat, Nov 17th, 2012

Google denies T&T government request to remove YouTube videos

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Carribean360 reports that Google has denied a request from the Trinidad and Tobago government to remove 10 videos currently posted on YouTube featuring Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.

The Trinidad Guardian newspaper reported Friday that the videos are parodies that feature the two senior government ministers.

It said nine of the videos feature Persad-Bissessar dancing with a bottle in hand, while Ramlogan is featured in an interview which took place last year with Dominic Kalipersad, head of news at the CCN TV6 on the state of emergency that had been announced by the coalition government to deal with the rising crime situation here.

In the video, the veteran newsman is hearding dmonishing Ramlogan, stating at one point “Please don’t be rude.”

The newspaper said that the videos have generated more than 300,000 hits.

According to the search engine, Google’s Transparency Report, from January to June this year, Trinidad and Tobago was among 19 countries requesting that videos be removed for alleged defamation.

Other countries making similar requests include the United States, China, India, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

“We received a request from legal representatives of a member of the executive branch to remove ten YouTube videos for alleged defamation. We did not remove content in response to this request,” the newspaper quoted from the report.

“Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services,” Google said.

It said that governments had asked Google to remove content for many different reasons.

The search engine, which bought YouTube six years ago, said some content removals were requested because of allegations of defamation, “while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography.

“Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction.”

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