By Sidra Kausary
(Pakdestiny.com) Pakistan version of YouTube has been introduced instead of the restoration of the original one.
But will this version have the same quality the original one has or it will prove to be a shadow of the real ‘YouTube’.
Although YouTube was accessible in Pakistan but in a very sneaky way a month ago when it was said that because of some issue in fibre optic cable Youtube is accessible but no plans are made to uplift the ban.
Finally, the ice has broken and after a local or you may call it a Pakistani version of YouTube has been made, it is now legal and accessible to all.
The ban is lifted after three years, the local version of Google-owned website allows the government to demand the removal of material it considers offensive.
Youtube was banned in Pakistan in September 2012 after anti-Islam film Innocence Of Muslims was uploaded to the site, sparking violent protests across major cities in the Muslim-majority country of 190 million people.
While, under the new version of YouTube, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) can ask for access to offending material to be blocked, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom said in a statement.
The ministry said: ‘On the recommendation of PTA, the government of Pakistan has allowed access to the recently launched country version of YouTube for internet users in Pakistan.’
The government could ask Google to block access to offending material for users within Pakistan and the ministry said Google and YouTube would ‘accordingly restrict access’ for Pakistani users.
Google, however, said that it would not automatically remove material without conducting a review.
It said the vetting process was the same as in other jurisdictions with local YouTube versions and government requests to remove content would be publicly reported.
‘We have clear community guidelines and, when videos violate those rules, we remove them,’ Google said in a statement.
‘Where we have launched YouTube locally and we are notified that a video is illegal in that country, we may restrict access to it after a thorough review.’
It is necessary to mention here that ‘Blasphemy’ is a highly sensitive subject in Pakistan and in past we have seen that angry mobs have killed many people accused of insulting Islam. One of the recent examples is lynching a non-Muslim couple almost a year ago.
A local version of Youtube also depicts that in the absence of Cyber Crime Bill, the censorship may be biased as well. Pakistan has blocked thousands of web pages it deems undesirable in the last few years as internet access spreads.
Many activists say the government sometimes blocks sites to muzzle liberal or critical voices. A Pakistani Youtube can also have restrictive knowledge for the people of Pakistan which is solely against the basic rights of using an online space. – Pakdestiny