Egypt is about to act on its longstanding threat to temporarily ban YouTube. The country’s highest administrative courthas ruledthat officials must block the streaming video site for a month (along with “all” links playing the video) after it allowed the 2012 anti-Islamic videoInnocence of Muslims. The short film’s portrayal of the Prophet Mohammed triggered outrage in the Islamic world and led to a 2013 Egyptian case demanding the ban, but the appeal process has kept the ruling in limbo for the past five years.
To some extent, the ban has lost its intended effect — the furor has clearly died down in six years. YouTube itself has also changed since 2012, with a greater willingness to isolate or remove hateful videos. This is now more of a symbolic punishment than a bid to make YouTube change its ways, and it’ll, unfortunately, affect millions of people in the process.