Pakistan lifts Youtube ban for three minutes

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When a blasphemous video of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) began circulating and inciting riots last year, Pakistan’s government decided to ban Youtube altogether. The government decided to lift the ban a few days ago, only to reinstate it after three minutes. Why, that’s not even enough time to watch Gangnam Style!

The Pakistani government decided to allow the site after taking measures to prevent blasphemous or offensive content from showing up in their region. It appears that those measures haven’t quite done the job because immediately after lifting the ban, they discovered that offensive content would still be available — leading them to ban access to Youtube again, after only three minutes.

Hopefully the Pakistani government can find a way to filter out that content, and users in Pakistan can get back to watching cute cat videos.

[via The Verge]

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  • tejas

    @Ashraf: Opera isn’t causing any issues here.

  • Henfracar

    @JT: No problem here either, and I’m also running Opera on my desktop.

  • Ashraf

    @JT: It seems to be Opera causing it on my tablet.
    @Tom: While I personally do feel the Pak government are a bunch of corrupt baboons, technically Pakistan has a democratically elected gov, not dictatorship.

  • Tom

    Everything is blasphemous to an intolerant regime. China is YouTube deprived, yet attention is made of the Pakis. And there are many more zealous dictators justifying ‘net blocks to keep their people ignorantly docile.

  • JT

    @Ashraf:
    Not happening here. Not sure what’s going on there.

  • Ashraf

    @Everyone: The Youtube app is opening itself on my tablet when I visit this page. Is this happening to anyone else? What the hell is going on.

  • Ashraf

    @Shawn: the block is more in the name than in fact — the content deemed offensive is easily accessible at other websites.

  • Ashraf

    @Samaritan: The major issue is: something may be blasphemous or offensive to some but freedom of speech to another. Google has shown a willingness to work with countries to block specific content geographically. not sure why the Pakistan government blocked it all instead of the specific content. probably politics as i said.

  • Samaritan

    Why not YouTube owner google remove blasphemous contents from its site? It’ll make this world safer and let enjoy every one watching YouTube !

  • Shawn

    Heck I use google cache for most sites and it bypasses elsewise there always alternate sites that re-stream the videos…

    I seriously hate Geo Banning Zones… what sad is that they even block the commercials…

    Well let’s hope for your case they fix up their issues… as Youtube is seriously not the worst of them out there for offensive videos xD

  • Ashraf

    I’m actually currently in Pakistan and it is very annoying not having access to Youtube.
    My prediction: the government will lift the ban after the upcoming elections. Why? A) To appease the people who want Youtube banned. Right or wrong, it is their desire and the government wants to ensure it earns their vote because there are a lot of them
    B) To prevent campaigns from running on Youtube. The current, in-power PPP government gets its backing from the older population, ones that are unlikely to use Youtube for campaigning purposes. Other parties, specifically PTI, are more likely to utilize Youtube for election purposes and thus are hurt more by a ban.
    It is all politics, if you ask me.