Ban on YouTube to be uplifted after Google launched Pakistani version of site

Ban on YouTube to be uplifted after Google launched Pakistan's version

YouTube is the most popular video-streaming website around the world. Unlike all the other countries of the world, Pakistan was robbed from using the site due to spewing controversies and blasphemies years back.

The popular video-streaming site was blocked in Pakistan about three and a half years ago. The block was made throughout Pakistan on September, 2012. The reason behind the mass shutdown of the site was due to a low-budget blasphemous movie which hurt the religious sentiments of the Muslims around the world. Proclaiming to the world that Muslims are going to take strict action against such groups, YouTube was banned in Pakistan.

Now, just today, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced that the ban should be lifted from the website. The notice has been issued to all the internet service providers (ISPs) to remove the barriers from YouTube, hence making it available for the public once again.

For all those who are wondering and were able to use YouTube without any proxy or tool-breaker for the past few days, the domain was on a trial run, officially. The PTA officials have announced that the blasphemous and unwanted content has been blocked from the site. The YouTube ban was quite a loud issue in the country for long time now. The supporters were lashing out at the Government and PTA to remove the ban. On the other hand, the religious audience was in support of keeping it banned.

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For now, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has issued the order that the site should remain banned until all the unethical and unreligious content is blocked from the site. It is important to note that Google has already deleted the movie which was the cause of this issue, but trimmed content is still available yet.

The uplift ban on the YouTube was roaming in the halls of the Supreme Court for some time now. Last week, a Supreme Court judge stated that the site in question is an education tool. Hence, the website should not be ranked with the other sites which are promoting pornographic or unethical content.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom said the improved rendition of YouTube enables the PTA officials to ask for access for unethical material to be blocked. He noted that;

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“On the recommendation of PTA, Government of Pakistan has allowed access to recently launched country version of YouTube for Internet users in Pakistan.”

Justice Faez Isa, a member of a two-judge bench, remarked on a petition seeking a ban that;

As far as objectionable material is concerned, technical experts must address this issue.”

youtube.pk
Screen-grab of YouTube.pk

Another important pointer to notice here is that the issue to uplift the ban from YouTube came after an important announcement made by Google. A Google Spokesperson, just last week, revealed that it has launched a local version of YouTube in Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The reason behind the launch was to enable the duplicate service in those areas, where it is officially banned. Just a hint from the Google and PTA once again got all active to uplift the ban in order to gain some pocket worth once again.

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A Google Spokesperson passing week announced their intentions on YouTube’s Pakistani version that;

“We aim to provide an even more tailored YouTube experience by launching versions that are optimized for Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. We also hope that this will pave the way for the work of local creators, personalities, and musicians to shine on the world’s largest and most vibrant video community. We continue to engage with industry, governments, and civil society groups globally to ensure the Internet remains open, safe, and secure.”

YouTube is one of the most popular platforms with around 1 billion monthly users, globally. It is available in 76 different languages for 88 countries around the world. No doubt, PTA would have felt insecure supporting a rival against this big site.

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