YOUTUBE ban continues in Pakistan in spite of several promises made by Rehman Malik, which are on record, to lift the ban within a few weeks.
A good four months have passed since the ban. On YouTube, one could frequently see a great deal of region-specific content that can be accessed only in the specified regions.
It reflects the incompetence of PTA and governing bodies that they cannot put themselves in successful negotiation with Google/YouTube services team to develop a controlling mechanism.
The hatred-oriented content is also not exclusive to YouTube. Much offensive content can be found on the Internet on blogging sites, Twitter, Facebook, Google, email threads, video-sharing websites and other social networking websites.
However, it is not wise to shut everything down. A positive awareness against racism, hatred and provoking content can be raised among common people, and PTA can set a hotline or an email service to address the reported queries by professionals having ‘good’ expertise to filter out the religiously offensive or racist content.
Furthermore, the decisions on the seriousness of offence can be left to users to judge by voting or a threshold of the number of negative reports, as is practised by Facebook in their content control policy.
The incompetence of our organisations is not a new revelation. A culture of corruption, nepotism and disregard of merit definitely creates such implications. However, it is badly affecting our society in this modern world in two dimensions.
One, that our key institutions do not have the ability and expertise to deal with technical issues. Second and most importantly, it is done at the cost of a big loss to students.
I am a student and I have used YouTube for help in my studies most of the time. Recently I registered for courses of MIT, which started recently. But I am unable to access the course lectures because YouTube is banned in Pakistan. If we do not talk about the ‘haraam’ entertainment, according to many, still many other students’ education is at stake.
One day the Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Internet, mobile services, everything will be banned here and our already declining education and science will pace towards the stone age.
Top international universities have put their lectures online on YouTube which is a great opportunity for students of developing countries.
I request the authorities to see the bigger picture and lift the ban immediately so that at least students don’t get affected in their studies.