Stories about YouTube ban

PEMRA, banning an ad on contraception makes no sense

From banning websites over blasphemous content to the recent ban on the advertisement for contraception, Pakistan seems to be headed in the wrong direction. The problem at hand is not just the ban, but the authority that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has assumed – the power to ban anything. As a citizen of this country, I have a few concerns. Where exactly is democracy and our right to the freedom of speech? Pemra is abusing its power here. They are banning content on the internet based on what they find inappropriate. However, this content may not actually be inappropriate but educational. Additionally, they can’t install filters to block ‘immoral’ and ...

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Did the new IT Minister really threaten to ban Google in Pakistan?

There is a lot of hype on the social media about a report that the new Minister of State for IT, Anusha Rahman Khan, allegedly threatened that Google will be banned if it does not remove the blasphemous videos from Google-owned YouTube. Well, I am not a journalist but as a concerned ICT professional, I tried to authenticate this news from different sources. So far I have not been able to find any confirmation. However an outright denial is also missing. But to be fair, the little that I know of the Minister (and I must admit that it is very little), ...

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Google should ban Pakistan

For a journalist, perhaps nothing is a greater violation of human rights than the denial of access to information. In the case of Pakistan versus YouTube, I think the government’s nine month ban on Google’s video-sharing website is really the limit of regressive and, in the eyes of any global citizen who accepts the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, unethical and illegal behaviour. I hold out no hope of sanity or assistance from the new government in this case. It is clear that in a country as fragmented along the lines of ‘haves’ versus the ‘have-nots’, ‘extremists’ versus ‘the rest’, the ban ...

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GI Joe 2: On censorship and movies based on children’s toys

Censorship. The worst enemy of intellectual freedom. The worst enemy of creativity. The worst enemy of an egalitarian, democratic society. And the best friend of the establishment. Censorship is why people in this country don’t know the history of this land. Censorship is why any reliable information construed as critical of Pakistan’s power players will vanish from the airwaves. Censorship is why Pakistan will not see the GI Joe sequel. The upcoming movie has been banned by the Pakistani censor board for its ‘fictional’ portrayal of Pakistan as a failed state and the also fictional theft of Pakistani nuclear weapons by Cobra. Max ...

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German glue, pinching ears and music — Zoe Viccaji’s favourite things

You may not know this about her, but Zoe Viccaji loves to put German glue on her hands and peel it off; she also loves to pinch ears, but her greatest love remains music. At the age of 15, when most of her teenage friends had the high-school blues, Zoe wrote songs for her friends and performed at open mic sessions as a hobby. She joined the college choir and majored in Arts and Sociology; even turned towards advertising for two years post-college, only to return to her first love – music. Born in Kharian to a Parsi father and a ...

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Banning YouTube: Why doesn’t the PTA need to justify its actions?

The advent of the internet has been one of the feats of modern civilisation, and its ubiquity, a defining feature of the 21st century. The war on terror, the European debt crisis, and our current prime minister may in time become footnotes in history, but the internet can only become more central to the fabric of human society. It has already sparked globalisation’s second great unbundling – cheap communications allowing firms to become truly multinational. Today, it is not just producers and consumers who can be geographically distant; production itself has fragmented across transnational supply chains, so that businesses can put ...

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