Copyright and intellectual property protection laws, for example in Germany;
Violations of hate speech, ethics, or morality-based laws, in Iran; and
Preventing access to videos judged to be inappropriate for youth, which is also done by YouTube with the YouTube Kids app and with "Restricted mode";
Reducing distractions at work or school, in Australia; and
Reducing the amount of network bandwidth used.
In some countries, YouTube is completely blocked, either through a long-term standing ban or for more limited periods of time such as during periods of unrest, the run-up to an election, or in response to upcoming political anniversaries. In other countries access to the website as a whole remains open, but access to specific videos is blocked. In cases where the entire site is banned due to one particular video, YouTube will often agree to remove or limit access to that video in order to restore service. Businesses, schools, government agencies, and other private institutions often block social media sites, including YouTube, due to bandwidth limitations and the site's potential for distraction.
Several countries have previously blocked access to YouTube:
Iran temporarily blocked access on December 3, 2006, to YouTube and several other sites, after declaring them as violating social and moral codes of conduct. The YouTube block came after a video was posted online that appeared to show an Iranian soap opera star having sex. The block was later lifted and then reinstated after Iran's 2009 presidential election. In 2012, Iran reblocked access, along with access to Google, after the controversial film Innocence of Muslims trailer was released on YouTube.
Some Australian state education departments block YouTube citing "an inability to determine what sort of video material might be accessed" and "There's no educational value to it and the content of the material on the site."
China blocked access from October 15, 2007, to March 22, 2008, and again starting on March 24, 2009. Access remains blocked.
Morocco blocked access in May 2007, possibly as a result of videos critical of Morocco's actions in Western Sahara. YouTube became accessible again on May 30, 2007, after Maroc Telecom unofficially announced that the denied access to the website was a mere "technical glitch".
Turkey blocked access between 2008 and 2010 after controversy over videos deemed insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In November 2010, a video of the Turkish politician Deniz Baykal caused the site to be blocked again briefly, and the site was threatened with a new shutdown if it did not remove the video. During the two and a half-year block of YouTube, the video-sharing website remained the eighth-most-accessed site in Turkey. In 2014, Turkey blocked the access for the second time, after "a high-level intelligence leak."
Pakistan blocked access on February 23, 2008, because of "offensive material" towards the Islamic faith, including display of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. This led to a near global blackout of the YouTube site for around two hours, as the Pakistani block was inadvertently transferred to other countries. On February 26, 2008, the ban was lifted after the website had removed the objectionable content from its servers at the request of the government. Many Pakistanis circumvented the three-day block by using virtual private network software. In May 2010, following the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, Pakistan again blocked access to YouTube, citing "growing sacrilegious content". The ban was lifted on May 27, 2010, after the website removed the objectionable content from its servers at the request of the government. However, individual videos deemed offensive to Muslims posted on YouTube will continue to be blocked. Pakistan again placed a ban on YouTube in September 2012, after the site refused to remove the film Innocence of Muslims, with the ban still in operation as of September 2013. The ban was lifted in January 2016 after YouTube launched a Pakistan-specific version.
Turkmenistan blocked access on December 25, 2009, for unknown reasons. Other websites, such as LiveJournal were also blocked.
Libya blocked access on January 24, 2010, because of videos that featured demonstrations in the city of Benghazi by families of detainees who were killed in Abu Salim prison in 1996, and videos of family members of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi at parties. The blocking was criticized by Human Rights Watch. In November 2011, after the Libyan Civil War, YouTube was once again allowed in Libya.
In Libya and Egypt, the Innocence of Muslims trailer was blamed[by whom?] for violent protests in September 2012. YouTube stated that "This video—which is widely available on the Web—is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries."