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White House asked YouTube to review anti-Muslim film

The White House asked YouTube on Tuesday to review an anti-Muslim film posted to the site that has been blamed for igniting the violent protests this week in the Middle East.

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, said the White House has "reached out to YouTube to call the video to their attention and ask them to review whether it violates their terms of use." 

However, the video remained on the site as of Friday afternoon, and it is posted many other places on the Internet.

Messages to YouTube, and Google, which owns the site, were not immediately returned Friday. On Wednesday, a YouTube spokesperson said the video "is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube."

The spokesperson added, however, that the site restricted access in Libya and Egypt because of the unrest. "We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions. This can be a challenge because what's OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere," the spokesperson said.

The video, a trailer for what the promoters say is full-length film produced in the United States, has been cited as a cause for the some of the violent unrest in several Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt and Yemen. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Friday that investigators have no evidence that the protests were caused by anything other than the video.

"It is in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting," Carney said. "That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it, but this is not a case of protest directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and -- to Muslims. Again, this is not in any way justifying violence. And we've spoken very clearly out against that and condemned it. And the president is making sure in his conversations with leaders around the region that they are committed, as hosts to diplomatic facilities, that -- to protect both personnel and buildings and other facilities that are part of the U.S. representation in those countries."

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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