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MENAFN - Jordan Times - 24/09/2012

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(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Jordanian and Arab activists have launched a series of campaigns on Facebook urging Internet users across the Arab world to stop using the Google search engine as of Monday, claiming that Google still makes some links to an anti-Islam film accessible in Arab countries.

On the Facebook page of one of the campaigns, organisers urged Internet users in the Arab world to boycott Google for two days starting on September 24.

Pointing out that if web users in the Arab world stop using Google's search engine, the Internet giant will incur losses, the campaign's organisers called on them to use other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo instead of Google. They also urged Internet users to stop using Google Chrome and use other browsers such as Firefox and Internet Explorer.

In another campaign on Facebook, organisers called for boycotting YouTube, which is owned by Google.

Organisers of these campaigns said they expect that Google will lose about 210 million in revenues if Internet users in the Arab world boycott its search engine and that its stock price will drop.

But an ICT industry expert downplayed the impact of such campaigns on Google.

"Such campaigns are meaningless and will not have any impact on Google," said the expert, who asked not to be named.

Arabs and Muslims account for about 8 per cent of Internet users in the world, the expert said, noting that less than 0.5 per cent of Google's profits are generated from the Arab and Muslim world.

"Such campaigns are weak" there are hundreds of clips that insult Islam and religious symbols and try to sow seeds of sedition between Sunnis and Shiites, but no one reacted to these videos. Why don't activists also react to these clips and rally public support and ask Google to remove them?" the analyst wondered.

Google started blocking access to clips of the anti-Islam film "Innocence of Muslims" in Jordan over the weekend following a request by the government, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology said on Saturday.

Telecom companies as well as Internet service providers in Jordan were provided with a list of links that connect to the film in order to block access to it, according to the ministry.

The ministry also instructed the National Centre for Information and Technology to specify all links that connect to the film that are not affiliated to YouTube, which will be provided to telecom operators and Internet providers to be blocked.


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