Supreme Court drops a hint at a possible YouTube ban in Pakistan

The famous video platform was previously banned for three years in Pakistan

A two-member Supreme Court bench hinted at possibly banning YouTube, the top video platform in the world, due to unregulated content from local commentators. The bench was hearing a case related to a sectarian crime. YouTube was previously banned in the country for three years due to objectionable content.

Justice Amin, one of the judges on the bench, said that there is no issue with freedom of expression, but privacy should be maintained. He also said that even the families of the judges had been targeted in YouTube videos. The bench quizzed Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) if they can remove such content. PTA responded that such material could be reported but not removed by the authority.

Ban is not the solution

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan, Tania Aidrus took to Twitter and raised her concerns about a possible ban. She discussed the adverse effects on the content creation ecosystem and will slow down the vision of Digital Pakistan.

“Banning a platform like YouTube is not a solution. The three years when YouTube was banned in Pakistan, it held back our content creator ecosystem, which has just started to flourish now, creating employment opportunities for thousands,” she tweeted.

“Our focus should be on ensuring better curation of content through policy and dialogue. Brute force measures like banning will not serve any purpose and will hold us back from achieving the vision of #DigitalPakistan,” she added.

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhary echoed similar sentiments, suggesting that “moral policing and ban approach,” saying it will lead to the destruction of the tech industry in the country.

Budding industry

There are hundreds of noticeable Pakistani channels on the video platform earning precious foreign exchange for the country. Thousands of people are employed directly and indirectly employed in Pakistan by these channels. Some of the content creators have hundreds of millions of views on their videos.

Apart from news channels and political commentary, entertainment, music, food, and travel channels are gaining momentum. Apart from earning money, these channels are dispelling false notions and showing a positive image of the country and its people.

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