YouTube Ban (Pakistan)

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Year: 2012

Date of Action: September 2013

Region: Asia

Location: Pakistan

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Religion


Confronting Bodies: Pakistani Telecommunication Authority, Pakistani Government

Description of Artwork: Sam Bacile's film "Innocence of Muslims" was uploaded on YouTube and because of this, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) ordered a ban on YouTube.

The Incident: Deeming the film blasphemous, Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf ordered an immediate banning of YouTube as 'blasphemous content will not be tolerated under any circumstances.' YouTube's decision not to remove the video from its website prompted the Prime Minister to order the PTA to put the ban into effect.

Results of Incident: The Youtube battle has been an ongoing one. There have been many protests over the ban, particularly by artists and musicians, who rely heavily on YouTube for the promotion of their works and university lectures respectively. The Interior Minister has also made attempts to have the ban removed but to no effect.

YouTube's stance not to remove the video, has also prompted the Prime Minister to threaten strict action against Google employees, by canceling their work visas. To this date, despite all of this, the ban remains.


Additional Sources: