Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry have come out against banning YouTube.
While hearing a bail petition filed by Shaukat Ali, a man accused of a sectarian-based crime, the Supreme Court took notice of social media and YouTube being used as a medium to spread objectionable content.
“Have the PTA or FIA seen what is going on on YouTube?” They don’t even spare our families on YouTube or social media, said Justice Qazi Amin. Some sit and act like our uncles on YouTube, he said, adding that judges are being humiliated.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Aidrus said our focus should be on curating quality content through policy framing and dialogue, not on banning the platform completely.
Banning a platform like YouTube is not a solution. The 3 years when YouTube was banned in Pakistan it held back our content creator ecosystem which has just started to flourish now, creating employment opportunities for thousands.
— Tania Aidrus (@taidrus) July 22, 2020
In September 2012, Pakistan banned access to YouTube till 2016 after an anti-Islam film was uploaded on the site, sparking violent protests across the country.
Aidrus said Pakistani content creators suffered a lot during these years and banning it again only when Pakistani YouTubers were beginning to create an ecosystem will deprive many people of employment.
Similarly, Chaudhry remarked that courts and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority should stop “moral policing”.
Courts and PTA must stay away from moral policing and Ban Approach,such bans on internet based Apps ll destroy Pak tech industry and development of technology ll be permanently hampered,we are still not out of woods b/o judges illadvised interferece in economic matters
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) July 22, 2020
He added that it will only hurt Pakistan’s tech industry.