The War on Social Media

The recent ban on YouTube in Pakistan because of its “growing sacrilegious content” has raised concerns on how far a Website should go in controlling its content so as not to cause offence to anyone. This move is an extension of a high court order to ban Facebook, because of a page which invited people to draw caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, as part of a crackdown on Websites that are seen to host un-Islamic content.

While some argue that the authorities over-reacted and the entire Websites should not be blocked, the  Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) insist that the order to “completely shut down” YouTube and prevent access to Facebook from within the country, was made after pursuing “all possible avenues” to resolve the matter. However, it is not yet clear how far this ban might go particularly as access to some Wikipedia and Flickr pages have now been restricted and Twitter might just be next in line as traffic to the micro-blogging site has increased. Furthermore, there are some suggestions that the ban might not be completely successful as some Internet users may find their way around by using alternative means such as proxy servers.

YouTube says they are “looking into the matter and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible” and a Facebook statement says “while the content does not violate our terms, we do understand it may not be legal in some countries. In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries”.

facebook protest

facebook demonstration protest

youtube ban

Talking Point

This is not the first ban on popular social-networking sites, some other countries such as China, permanently ban Facebook and YouTube. Therefore, should social networks be held responsible for every user-generated content hosted on their Website?

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  1. Pakistan has now also barred all the blackberry services, i don’t know all of sudden what’s happening. The action against Facebook is okay as the reason says but why other sites like twitter and youtube have been barred.

  2. Pakistan is not the only country banned You tube but China. Maybe it is for the best of both countries, we should respect their decision.

  3. I think is going to affect Facebook alot has of Muslims is gong to disactive there account on the micro blogger. If content does not violate our terms, but it violate other users private and religious, and for that the should have removed it if they are anti Islam…

  4. Maybe it would be better if a social-networking site can set restrictions to carefully filter every user-generated content hosted on their website. This way, no one will ever attempt to waste their time and effort in doing such mess.

  5. Such outcomes takes place whenever an advantage is misused. Social media is an awesome platform and people all over the world needs this platform but when these networking sites are misused to hurt the sentiments of the people or to commit crime, there is no way out but to come under scanner or even get banned.

  6. This is nice reading this post. I am appreciative to the idea you put on the contents here. Actually it reminds me to the evidence that happen to a friend of mine. It can be perceived that social network has essential role to our society. It does affect many people as well as create significance change. Sometimes it is delightful, and sometimes it is annoying. Well, that’s life. Regards.

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