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YouTube Blocked In Pakistan 299

Posted by timothy
from the differential-fragility dept.
kokoko1 submits this snippet from The Telegraph, which reports that Facebook isn't alone — now YouTube, too, is being censored in Pakistan. "The blocking of YouTube comes a day after a Pakistani court blocked Facebook amid a growing row over a competition on the social networking website to design cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad." Update: 05/20 18:58 GMT by T : According to an anonymous reader, Wikipedia and Flickr are out, too.
Update: 05/21 12:11 GMT by KD : And now add Twitter to the blocked list. This post claims that more than 1,000 sites are being blocked in Pakistan.
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YouTube Blocked In Pakistan

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  • Re:Self-limiting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cytoman (792326) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:45PM (#32283124)
    In a poor country with only a fraction of the people being affected by blocking the internet, the critical mass for any push for change is absent.
  • Re:Self-limiting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by v1 (525388) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:47PM (#32283150) Homepage Journal

    ya, just look a China for example. (and good thing for them they have a lot more people)

  • Muhammad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:48PM (#32283164)

    >-|-O

  • Mohammed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @02:51PM (#32283210)

    (((:~(>

    Filter error: Your comment looks too much like ascii art.

    Well duh!

  • Re:Refreshing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:09PM (#32283446) Journal

    I find that a lot of these foreign developing countries that seem to be oppressive and support censorship are usually pretty much just as bad as any developed nation.

    I mean, what with Australia airports checking for porn, US Military blocking the Press with the Wikileaks video, Germany and its whole Anti-Nazi thing. Each country has its quirks, we seem so quick to condemn Pakistan for blocking a web site when we don't even have our own house in order.

  • religion FAIL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:12PM (#32283476) Journal

    How is killing people or even just protesting over a drawing not equating the subject of the drawing to godhood? In other words, these idiots have turned Mohammad into an idol by their actions and words, and so are violating the very law they seek to enforce on others.

    That counts as one big FAIL in my book.

  • Re:The problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:13PM (#32283490)

    How? Disallow every kind of encrypted traffic and deep inspect everything else? How much of your GDP are you willing to throw at a futile attempt to hold back the ocean with a broom?

  • Re:The problem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:15PM (#32283522) Journal

    How much of your GDP are you willing to throw at a futile attempt to hold back the ocean with a broom?

    Have you looked at North Korea lately?

  • Re:religion FAIL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:21PM (#32283616) Journal

    In other words, these idiots have turned Mohammad into an idol by their actions and words, and so are violating the very law they seek to enforce on others.

    I am not an expert on the Islamic faith, but I rather suspect they turned their backs on Mohammad when they started blowing up women and children.

  • Re:Refreshing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:25PM (#32283674) Journal

    Such websites would be illegal in Texas

    Citation needed.

  • Re:Refreshing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by couchslug (175151) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:25PM (#32283676)

    The more religion/superstition is questioned via the internet, the more provocative negative responses from superstitionists will result.

    This is good. Every opportunity to expose foolish nonsense is to be exploited.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:43PM (#32283992) Journal
    Pakistan has a problem in that they are more of a democracy, and more liberal politically, thus they allow the radicals who are too radical for other countries. For example, if someone named (randomly) "Osama Bin Ladin" called for vast changes in the Saudi Arabian government based on muslim principles, he might find it needful to flee the country. However, in Pakistan that sort of thing is allowed. They've thus become a magnet for radical types.

    Saudi Arabia in many ways has a more secular government, but it is a dictatorship. They don't care so much about Mohammad drawings, but do care about criticisms of the state.
  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @03:51PM (#32284134) Journal
    O-
    Now if folk's wanted to be offensive they could claim otherwise. I'm not. It's Dave.
  • Re:Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ciggieposeur (715798) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:03PM (#32284368)

    You can give your people the internet when you get them sewers and a secular government first.

    We'd have to ban the Internet in the United States if those were the rules.

  • by Target Practice (79470) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:05PM (#32284386)

    I wish they could have been quieter about this. My state senators (Utah) are probably already phoning them to ask how they can get a piece of that sanitized Internet pie.

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:05PM (#32284392)
    There are reasonable limits to how far you go with that, though. The harsh reality is that some people, and some groups of people, just aren't ready for the internet. And if you're the kind of person who thinks that the proper response to seeing a pornographic picture is to kill the person(s) who posted and host it--you should not be welcome on the internet of the civilized world. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:08PM (#32284448)
    Actually, even the most backwards U.S. states are starting to look downright liberal compared to Australia these days. Not sure what's going on down under, but they seem to be dipping fast.
  • by Miseph (979059) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:20PM (#32284652) Journal

    And nothing of value was lost...

    Time to go get 4chan added to the list. I've already cleared a space on my shelf for the "Great Hero of Pakistan" medal.

  • by g8oz (144003) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:21PM (#32284670)

    You don't get it. No one on ./ really does. You're looking at this from the point of "those Muslims are trying to tell us what we can say".

    If you seek to understand the average Muslim perspective though, conduct the following though experiment: that you are black and some is chanting "nigger nigger nigger nigger" in your face, stopping only to pompously congratulate themselves on what champions of freedom they are. Don't get mad, you don't have to right to tell people what they can say. Well no, you don't but it certainly is offensive and contemptuous.

    It's not an analogy. I'm saying this is what it *feels* like for the average Muslim. Note I say average Muslim, not extremist.
    Educated Muslims will typically shrug these provocations off but they don't make up the majority. This taboo runs deep into the realm of regular working everyday people in the Islamic world. For another tortured analogy consider pissing on an altar in 1920's Sicily and see how popular you are.

    Americans more than any other Westerners should realize the political potency of culture wars/traditional symbols and values.

    This issue has the potential to radicalize more people than Al-Qaeda ever dreamed of. They shot their wad in Iraq with their murderous overreaching and failed to convince the Muslim masses to rise up. But this can very easily breathe new life into Islamist movements that have been discrediting themselves in the eyes of regular folks.

    I'm not asking you to care, I'm asking you to understand.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:25PM (#32284750)

    Saudi Arabia in many ways has a more secular government, but it is a dictatorship. They don't care so much about Mohammad drawings, but do care about criticisms of the state.

    Yes, this is exactly why Saudi Arabia probably has the best kind of government it can have. If they had a democracy, it'd be much worse, because the people are so backwards. The rulers there are much more forward-thinking than the people, so they keep the silliness from going too far.

  • Re:Refreshing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BCGlorfindel (256775) <klassenk@b r a n d o n u.ca> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:34PM (#32284872) Journal

    Each country has its quirks, we seem so quick to condemn Pakistan for blocking a web site when we don't even have our own house in order.

    Your relativism only shows that you are either malicious or ignorant. You do realize that the same powers in Pakistan pushing for this religious ban are also the ones failing to pursue the assassins of Benazir Bhutto. Not coincidentally, the first female head of state of any Islamic nation. In fact, in many papers the same crowd of leaders calling for permanent bans of facebook and youtube for religious reasons, are also remarking on Benazir's own guilt in her assassination for placing herself in harms way.

    Sorry, but Pakistan's ban of media that offends the religious is a very minor symptom of much deeper, malicious and vile religious intolerance. Actually, you may have heard something of it on the news a few years ago, some of them went by the name of Tali-something or other. But who can be bothered to remember that sort of thing, we've got our own house to worry about and this couldn't possibly effect us.

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:53PM (#32285168)

    Infidel pig! May all your camels suffer from flatulence and halitosis!

  • Re:Self-limiting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by matt_gaia (228110) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:55PM (#32285202)

    Pakistan's version or the Tea Party's version?

  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday May 20, 2010 @04:59PM (#32285258) Journal

    You're looking at this from the point of "those Muslims are trying to tell us what we can say".

    Are you telling me that's not what's happening?

    If you seek to understand the average Muslim perspective though, conduct the following though experiment: that you are black and some is chanting "nigger nigger nigger nigger" in your face...

    What about this concept is so hard for you to get?

    Yes, people have the right to do that in the free world. Freedom of speech is worthless unless it also means freedom to say things you disagree with.

    Except, of course, they don't have the right to do it right in your face. Which this isn't. No one is forcing you to go to that particular Facebook page out of thousands -- but you are drawing far more attention to it than it deserves by blocking all of Facebook because of this one bit that's offensive.

    In fact, someone did exactly that [facebook.com] on Facebook, and the US hasn't blocked Facebook.

    Don't get mad, you don't have to right to tell people what they can say.

    Those are two separate issues.

    First, it's entirely up to you whether or not you take offense. Take the "nigger" situation -- you could get angry, or you could feel sorry for the poor troll who has nothing better to do than harass you, or you could ignore them altogether.

    Second, there's nothing wrong with taking offense, or telling people what you think they should say. Where it crosses the line is when you start actually preventing them from saying it at all (by censoring an entire network because of a few offensive posts), or when you respond to someone's mere expression with violence, or threats of violence.

    I don't see why that is such a hard concept to get. Hate speech is legal, and the best way to deal with it is to counter with calm, rational discourse, or to ignore it altogether and thus deny its power. Death threats are not legal, nor should they be tolerated, and actions like censorship are in an entirely different category.

    It's not an analogy. I'm saying this is what it *feels* like for the average Muslim. Note I say average Muslim, not extremist.

    And here's how one Muslim [youtube.com] chose to respond.

    Moreover, I'm not sure whether it should feel that way [youtube.com] at all, if you understand your own religion. Think about it: Why did Mohammed forbid depictions of himself? To prevent just what happens every time you follow his name with "Peace Be Upon Him" -- to prevent himself (or any other prophet) from being deified, from being worshiped over Allah. Merely drawing the prophet should be no more blasphemous to you than it would be to draw Jesus Christ, who, as I understand, is also held to be a prophet.

    This issue has the potential to radicalize more people than Al-Qaeda ever dreamed of.

    No, they do that themselves. Mere expression cannot make you hate unless you allow it to.

    I'm not asking you to care, I'm asking you to understand.

    Well, I am asking you to care. Watch the DawahFilms video I linked to. Don't just shrug this off, use this as an opportunity to prove us embarrassingly wrong, and to set an example to your brothers and sisters about how Islam truly can be a religion of peace.

    Or you can be silent, allowing your louder extremists to speak for you. Or you can actually defend censorship and barbarism. Your choice.

  • by Hal_Porter (817932) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:06PM (#32285364)

    If you seek to understand the average Muslim perspective though, conduct the following though experiment: that you are black and some is chanting "nigger nigger nigger nigger" in your face, stopping only to pompously congratulate themselves on what champions of freedom they are.

    Well a lot of people feel the same way about a bunch of medievalists trying to tell cartoonists in free countries what they can and can't draw.

    This issue has the potential to radicalize more people than Al-Qaeda ever dreamed of. They shot their wad in Iraq with their murderous overreaching and failed to convince the Muslim masses to rise up. But this can very easily breathe new life into Islamist movements that have been discrediting themselves in the eyes of regular folks.

    Yeah, just like at the end of the middle ages - people challenging the Catholic Church's silly rules on what people could and couldn't say prevented the Enlightenment.

    Oh wait, that's not what happened at all - people stood up to them and eventually they backed down.

    Religions need to be slapped down when they step out of line. Gradually they are abraded until they are powerless. I've got friends in Iran who - unlike you - actually understand what is at stake and are much more keen for this abrading process to be completed. Because then they can live a normal life. I'm sure 90% of "the Arab Street" feels the same way.

  • Re:religion FAIL (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:08PM (#32285398) Journal

    In other words, these idiots have turned Mohammad into an idol by their actions and words, and so are violating the very law they seek to enforce on others.

    I am not an expert on the Islamic faith, but I rather suspect they turned their backs on Mohammad when they started blowing up women and children.

    It all depends on how you interpret the religion, or rather how your religious leaders interpret it, since ordinary people are always asked by religious leaders to take things on "faith". (The degree to which you are asked to take things on faith differs, but this underlies every major religion as far as I can tell).

    Faith is code for disconnecting your mind and "believing" what you are told without quesiton. This is why religion - even "moderate" religion - can be so damaging. You surrender your ability to reason about things to people that have their own agendas. Whether you're asked to believe in the son of God saving us from sin, the great prophet Mohammed showing us the way, the wise Buddha teaching us how to be at spiritual peace, or the Xenu and space aliens hardly matters. With it comes instruction on how you must live your life, and what you should do, and the faithful may not question the "true word" of whomever.

  • Re:Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:09PM (#32285412)
    We don't need to be able to point Pakistan out on a map to know that over 300 women are killed there every year by their own family for having premarital sex or actually wanting to marry someone for love and not by arrangement, or that rape wasn't even recognized as a prosecutable offense there until 2006. But yeah, we're all equal. We in the west are no better just because we have a legal system that doesn't imprison women for adultery or disobeying their husbands.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 20, 2010 @05:26PM (#32285678)

    No, most of us get it. Most of us also know that the forefathers felt that the right to offend is more important than the right to not be offended. Christians, Jews, Buddhists, etc. have to put up with it and as such the Nation of Islam does too or else it can't play with the rest of us..

    Here's another point for YOU to ponder my friend....the U.S isn't exactly the most non-racist country on the planet. What do you suppose will happen to innocent Muslim families here in America and abroad the moment the Nation of Islam is perceived to be nothing but violent in nature?

    Or you can simply look at it this way..Muslims are coming into OUR countries...if I go to Pakistan, can I demand they speak English, worship Christ, etc. or I'll start killing them? No!?!? Why does that make their demands worth anything here? Because they'll behead me if I don't change or get more radicals who'll do worse? Yeah, that's working out really well right now since that behavior has never caused a superpower to invade and kill "terr'rists" and innocents alike(I'm not agreeing with this at all, just pointing out that it is a very real pattern). If you want your culture to be like it was in your motherland, GO BACK THERE. Otherwise you're more than welcome here if you can show some tolerance.

    Seriously, if you're a nation of peace, show it and stop making threats. Sure, for a while it may be like how the KKK tries to get Blacks, etc. to be violent by taunting them but in showing that you're above them, you prevail and even grow a bit as a culture.

  • Re:Mohammed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:28PM (#32287124) Journal

    Sad you got mod'ed down. While I'm not a fan of the idea of killing off Christians (the Romans tried that, and the Christians eventually took over, so you can't "kill" a religion), I do agree there are some issues with "modern" religion. I strongly believe in freedom of religion, but I can't help but think that some time in the future (50 years/500 years/who knows) that mankind is going to say "wtf were we thinking?", and just as we have cast aside Roman and Greek mythology as a religion, I believe the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) will also be set aside.

    And to anyone else reading who is Muslim, Christian or Jewish, don't bother replying to debate this. I fully support your right to worship as you please, I simply think you are mistaken, just as you think I am mistaken. It isn't personal, and I'm not an atheist (more of a pan-deist). That's whats great about being Free (as in speech). We can just agree to disagree.

  • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:24PM (#32288068) Homepage

    Chanting 'nigger nigger nigger nigger' to the face of a black guy would be harassment if he tried to leave but you kept following him acting threateningly.

    The part that makes it harassment isn't the nigger part, it's the 'acting threateningly in the face of' part. If I make a song called 'A Ballade for Niggerism' that consist of nothing but racial slurs against black guys, there's nothing you can hold against that unless you're one of the PC pricks.

    And the 'peaceful moderates' that Islamic people always claim make up the majority of their people really need to step up to the plate here.

  • by woodlander (737137) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @09:40PM (#32288186)
    The only thing really wrong with your example is this is NOT what is happening. No one is in anyone's face and no one is shouting. No one is pissing an anything. If they were, it would make sense, but they aren't. It certainly appears that the Muslims are diligently searching for a way to be offended.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Friday May 21, 2010 @01:44AM (#32289614)

    If you seek to understand the average Muslim perspective though, conduct the following though experiment: that you are black and some is chanting "nigger nigger nigger nigger" in your face, stopping only to pompously congratulate themselves on what champions of freedom they are. Don't get mad, you don't have to right to tell people what they can say. Well no, you don't but it certainly is offensive and contemptuous.

    First, let's see if the blacks reading Slashdot will give you death threats over posting a message with the word "nigger" here. I kinda doubt it.

    Second, nobody's "chanting in their face". These Muslims are getting upset because other, non-Muslim people, are refusing to take their precious prophet seriously in conversations with each other. And, comically enough, when those other people express the opinion that Muhammed was a bloodthirsty butcher who wanted all non-Muslims dead, these muslims respond with some variation of "Silence! I kill you!", thus proving the opinion entirely accurate.

    Third, I for one am getting very tired of worrying what a homicidal bunch of barbarians happens to find offensive. If Pakistan, Iran, or any other islamic hellhole wants to cut communication with the rest of world to stay in Dark Ages, fine: let them. Neither they nor their prophet will be missed. Those of their numbers who insist on living on civilized world, however, better get it through their heads once and for all that their prophet will not be revered, honored or respected by the rest of us, and all of their threats and violence will only get him hated and reviled more and more as the originator of such evil.

  • by lena_10326 (1100441) on Friday May 21, 2010 @03:10AM (#32290016) Homepage

    You're looking at this from the point of "those Muslims are trying to tell us what we can say.

    They are telling us what we can (and can't) say.

    • Theo van Gogh
    • Salmon Rushdie
    • Taslima Nasreen

    The Facebook campaign was indeed a "fuck you" to Muslims. It aimed at those wishing to dominate and control the speech and beliefs of others. If I told you that I forbid you from uttering the word "abcxyz" and that if you didn't comply, I'd issue a fatwa demanding your head. You'd tell me that I was trampling on your freedom and not so kindly tell me to fuck off wouldn't you? I'm curious. Did you plea the same case when groups of Muslims were burning foreign flags and effigies? Those were also "fuck you" statements, but instead issued by Muslims to westerners. I'd wager $100 that you didn't.

  • by ChatHuant (801522) on Friday May 21, 2010 @04:41AM (#32290552)

    It is incredible to me that offending a people's faith is seen as a glorious example of free speech. When did that happen?

    When is it okay to make fun of the Holocast or deny so many lives lost? When is it okay to keep offending a people when you know that it is something they hold in high esteem?

    Yes, that's precisely what freedom of speech really means. Isaac Asimov had an essay, ("Untouchable", in the June 1991 edition of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine) where he explains this much better than I could hope (he was referring to the issue of flag burning, but his arguments are universal). Unfortunately this essay hasn't been reprinted, and a quick search couldn't find it on the web, so I'll try to summarize it here.

    Basically, Asimov's point was that the most important meaning of freedom of speech is protection of unpopular speech (be it unpopular to the government, to powerful people, or simply to the majority). There is no need to protect popular speech - there are no negative consequences to agreeing with the ones in power. In Soviet Russia, people could agree with Stalin as much as they liked, and as loudly as they felt like. And yet, you can't call this freedom of speech, because any deviation from whatever was approved took you to the gulags.

    The whole point of freedom of speech is that the unpopular, the contrary, and yes, the despicable, the disgusting and the hateful speech must be protected. This can, and does cause offense at times, providing great moron-fodder to the likes of Fox News (which is just funny, since the very existence of Fox News relies on this principle). But the principle is so valuable, so useful, and, in the end so productive that it needs to be preserved carefully. Paraphrasing Asimov: he doesn't want the flag to be burned; he likes the flag, and what it stands for. But if there was a law forbidding the burning, the flag wouldn't stand for anything anymore and it wouldn't matter what happened to it.

    To return to our discussion: offending a people's faith IS free speech. Making fun of the Holocaust IS free speech. The fact that some people are offended should not be a factor. Where do we stop otherwise? Lots of people are Catholic, or like the Catholic Church. Should the journalists that discovered priests abusing children be jailed (or at least muzzled) for lack of respect to Catholics? Criticising a public figure should be forbidden as well, because it annoys his or her fans and admirers? Heck, lots of people like Santa Claus, shall we make laws forbidding the portrayal or discussion of Santa?

    I believe freedom of speech is one of the most impressive founding principles of Western civilisation. While there may be limits (insert fire theater example here), the judgement should almost always err on the side of more freedom, not less.

The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives. -- Admiral William Leahy, U.S. Atomic Bomb Project

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