Monday, 24 May 2010
It would appear that the UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (Or TRA to you an' me) has blocked YouTube's age verification screen.
The problem was highlighted on Twitter yesterday when a link to the now infamous 'Sheikh Zayed Road Madness' video was shared - the link came back with the blocked splash screen on both Etisalat and Du networks. A good link is, BTW, here.
Although the first assumption is that the block was because of the nature of the content, which is a group of nutters endangering the lives of motorists on Dubai's busiest road by pulling doughnuts and the like, this was not in fact the case
(Dubai's police website still allows you, rather charmingly, to key in number plates and get a record of fines and the like without requiring any corroborating evidence that it is, in fact, your own plate you're looking up. So you can look up these chaps' driving history if you want.)
What had happened was the video had been flagged for age restriction (you can't actually tag a video with an age limit on YouTube when you post it, it has to be 'flagged' and a YouTube staffer will review and age restrict the video) and therefore viewers were sent to the YouTube Age Verification Page.
And THAT is the bit that had been blocked. One can only assume that 'if you need to be asked, the answer's no' is the policy in place here.
Helpfully, Etisalat's Twitter Twit suggested to me that YouTube itself was responsible for the block, which is patently not the case, and then referred me to YouTube's Terms of Service which, of course, are totally irrelevant to the point in question.
Have you read YouTube's TOS? Here. Fill yer boots. Bet you can't finish it without going mad.
In the meantime, we await the results of the investigation that is being conducted, I am sincerely advised, into whether it is morally or culturally reprehensible to answer the question: "Are you over 21?"
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