Geographically Restricting “Questionable” Videos

I’ve been following the mostly political issue surrounding the “Jitna” video on several major video portals.  As you may have read, Indonesia had “blockaded” major video portals due to the posting of a controversial “anti-Islam” video on those sites.

It seems like now, more than ever, countries are becoming concerned with citizens in their countries having access to content that may be socially, morally or legally objectionable.

As a provider of online content, it is also possible to block access to content, by using highly accurate IP geotargeting technology.  But, the bigger issue is where to draw the line.  Do I block content solely because it’s socially unacceptable to a certain class of online visitors?  Should I only block content if it’s legally restricted?  Or, do I not block content at all and cite free speech concerns (and instead let the country itself make a decision whether or not to allow its citizens to access the “objectionable” content–and hence also take any resulting backlash form its citizens due to such blocking)?

While IP targeting technology can be used to restrict access to content, I think the larger question is: when is it appropriate?  My instincts are that most portals in the streaming space would err on the side of only geo-restricting where legally obligated, due to free speech concerns ad the lack of a standard for what is “socially/culturally unacceptable.”  But, it’s certainly a business decision and potentially a political one as well.

It will also be interesting to see where this goes.  All I know is that we’ve come a long way since the old days where “the Internet has no borders.”

On a lighter note, if you’re interested in the use of IP Intelligence for online video distribution, check this out.

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