Recently, in response to the killings of four American diplomatic personnel in Libya, Google decided, in an unorthodox move to censor an inflammatory anti-Muslim video surfacing on the Internet, blocking it in both Egypt and Libya. The video surfaced on YouTube, and is said to be ridiculing the prophet Muhammad. Google claimed, that this move was incredibly unusual and was purely provoked by the exceptional circumstances. The video was a catalyst to outrage over the Muslim world from Afghanistan to Libya with the populace calling on the United States to take actions against the video’s producers. While the overarching question comes into play regarding freedom of speech, and whether or not Google was in the right to actually block the video. The fact remains that they have steadfastly stood by keeping up multiple questionable and offensive posts and videos.
Regardless, the reason I even chose to bring up the article was more closely related to its ties to globalization and its connections to the digital divide. First off, I find it quite incredible that an American-run company that essentially controls the Internet in itself is able to control how information is dispersed and specifically what facts and what information is getting to each specific country. It furthermore shows that the birth of the Internet and its integration into society from all walks of life throughout the world has practically made the world a much smaller place. That while there is the more obvious digital divide in directly in some places based on the juxtaposition of those who have technology and those who don’t, an even greater digital divide can be seen on a grander scale: those who control the technology and those who don’t. It brings into question the international scale of freedom of speech, and the increased role of technology, and whether or not a new scale of law is in order, for the sake of protecting everyone’s natural rights.