Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pakistan Blocks YouTube Over Sacrilegious Content


Following Pakistan’s blockade of Facebook — allegedly because users had posted caricatures of Prophet Muhammad on the network — comes news that Pakistan has also blocked YouTube because of content that’s offensive to Islam.

While the Facebook ban in Pakistan was a direct result of a group that called on users to submit drawings of Prophet Muhammad, the YouTube blockade isn’t explained in detail. According to AP, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority simply cited “growing sacrilegious contents” [sic] as the reason for the ban.

The ban of Facebook and YouTube is likely to continue until representatives from both sites resolve the dispute with the Pakistani government in a way that “ensures religious harmony and respect.” A Facebook representative said the usual way to resolve such issues — if the group in question doesn’t break the site’s terms of service but is illegal in another country — is to restrict the group from being shown in that country.

However, it appears that Pakistan has blocked more than just these two sites; some of our readers, as well as reports on Twitter, point out that access to Flickr, Wikipedia and other sites has been restricted, too.