YouTube, Facebook to be unblocked as protests continue

Published: May 26, 2010

A man shouts during a protest against Facebook in Peshawar on May 26, 2010. (Reuters)

KARACHI: The federal cabinet has decided that YouTube and YouTube will be unblocked in Pakistan even as countrywide protests continued against blasphemous content posted on Facebook.

The decision was taken unanimously at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. It was stated during the meeting that all websites that were useful for students were to be unblocked, while all blasphemous links would remain blocked.

Facebook, Flickr and 1000 other websites believed to be carrying blasphemous content are still blocked.

PTA had blocked Facebook on the order of the LHC, and also blocked YouTube on May 20th until May 31st, when the LHC would either order the removal of the ban or reassess the decision. The LHC is now waiting for the Pakistan Embassy’s letter to the US state department.

Users across Pakistan put forward mixed views on the ban, some stated that YouTube was banned for the wrong reasons. Some users felt that YouTube was not just being used to post blasphemous content, but it was also helping in spreading the message of Islam. They said scholars across the world posted lectures on YouTube,  that were accessible to everyone. Users also felt that negativity exists everywhere, but it is the positive use of YouTube that should have been looked at.

On the other hand, a lot of users felt that the ban on the sites were justified and that people could live without Facebook and YouTube.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik tweeted:

@SenRehmanMalik Cabinet meeting 2day. Condemned blasphemous material. Cabinet accepted my proposal to block ONLY the objectable sections of facebook&youtube

While Punjab Governor Salman Taseer tweeted:

@SalmaanTaseer V soon the network operating systems will be back on.for that u can thank the honourable governor punjab

YouTube was still inaccessible at the time this story was filed.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • May 26, 2010 - 6:31PM

    It’s still is inaccessible. Recommend

  • ahmed
    May 26, 2010 - 10:22PM

    youtube unblocked!Recommend

  • May 26, 2010 - 10:22PM

    Youtube is working now (10:21 PM – May 26)Recommend

  • May 26, 2010 - 11:56PM

    Yeay! World saved.Recommend

  • mmk
    May 27, 2010 - 1:30AM

    FINALLY ASENSIBLE DECISION WHICH SHOULD BE CARRIED OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!Recommend

  • Bilal Mohsin
    May 27, 2010 - 2:20AM

    Youtube being unblocked is fine and actually makes some sense because Youtube wasn’t at the forefront of the whole saga but on the other hand as far as facebook is concerned i for one would still like it to be permanently blocked. Recommend

  • Brooke
    May 27, 2010 - 4:43AM

    Youtube is now unblocked. This is a really good thing. As far as Facebook being permanently blocked I can’t agree with that. Blocking all of Facebook won’t solve the problem of ignorant people posting sites about your Prophet. A better way would be to allow users access to Facebook to form their own links and sites FOR your Prophet and to teach non Muslims more about your religion and teachings. Banning Facebook permanently is taking things too far which seems to be one of two things that always happens here. The other being no action at all taken. Recommend

  • May 27, 2010 - 4:03PM

    Youtube is blocked again – Wateen WiMax Network (04:00 pm PST – LHR)Recommend

  • zaidkhan
    May 28, 2010 - 7:43PM

    its really good that you-tube is unblocked but face-book should also be unblocked..according to me ,we should avoid such things and continue our work..these ppl know nothing about Islam , we should teach them and pray 4 their forgivness as our prophetSAW did( ala-taif) …Recommend

  • zaidkhan
    May 28, 2010 - 7:46PM

    This is really good that you-tube is now unblocked .facebook should also be unblocked on 31 may ..we should avoid such links and continue our work . these ppl have no sense and know nothing about ISLAM we should teach them and pray 4 their forgiveness as our prophet(SAW) did.(AHA_TAIF).face.book is important 4 usRecommend

  • Kiran Rajput
    May 30, 2010 - 11:04PM

    youtube has unblocked. nd according to me fb should be unblocked,, beacuse its nt a solution,, if fb will b banned in pakistan 4ever they will do such things again with other resources,, so itz nt a solution,, itz upto on our government they have to be strong and take strict action against them!Recommend

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