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January 19, 2016

Pakistan Gets Own Version of YouTube Ending 3-Year Ban

Pakistan has lifted its three-year ban on YouTube after the Google-owned company created a version of its video platform specifically for that country.

YouTube logoYouTube Pakistan, which went online Monday, enables the government to remove content it does not approve of.

YouTube was first blocked by the Pakistani government back in 2012 when the company refused to pull a clip of the anti-Muslim film “The Innocence of Muslims.” The video portrayed the Prophet Mohammed as a fraud and a pervert, angering the Islamic community, particularly those in Pakistan, Egypt and Libya.

The White House, in September of 2012, also asked Google to remove the video. While the technology titan did not take the video down, it did opt to block it in a number of Muslim countries.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom told Reuters the new version of YouTube will enable the country’s Telecommunication Authority to block videos.

“On the recommendation of PTA, Government of Pakistan has allowed access to recently launched country version of YouTube for Internet users in Pakistan,” the ministry told Reuters.

“Google has provided an online web process through which requests for blocking access of the offending material can be made by PTA to Google directly and Google/YouTube will accordingly restrict access to the said offending material for users within Pakistan.”