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News came in yesterday that Pakistan has blocked access to the popular video sharing website, YouTube because of objectionable video content.

YouTube videos

Reports said the content deemed offensive to Islam which resulted in the ban, included Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, and a trailer for a forthcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, which portrays Islam in a negative light.

A blogger from Lahore, Pakistan, Shafiq Rehman however thinks the ban is more “political” than “cultural”:

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued a notice today to all ISPs in Pakistan to block few URLs which were related to election rigging. Since Pakistani service providers didn’t have proper infrastructure to block individual URLs, they blocked the whole domain.

YouTube would remain blocked until further notices from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Meanwhile, I think what Internet users can do to help this situation is to write to YouTube to remove the objectionable content and videos because this removal would hopefully enable the authorities to restore access to the video sharing website.

On a side note, did you notice that YouTube was down earlier this afternoon? According to News.com, a simple mistake by an engineer at Pakistan Telecom might have caused this while they were trying to block access to YouTube.com. Sounds pretty scary and fragile, isn’t it?

Other countries that have temporarily blocked access to YouTube include Turkey and Thailand. We certainly hope Malaysia do not follow what these countries have done…, or you will find there will be more and more websites in the blocked list…