In a strange turn of events on Wednesday, while taking notice of the objectionable content on the video-sharing platform, YouTube and other social media, Supreme Court of Pakistan hinted at shutting down the platform in the country.
The apex court was hearing a case against suspect, Shaukat Ali pertaining to a sectarian crime when the topic came under discussion. The court noted that such forums are rife with content that incite hatred against Pakistan’s institutions.
Justice Qazi Amin remarked, “We are not against freedom of expression and masses have right to discuss our performance and decisions as we take salaries from public money but constitution also provides us right of personal life but users of social media and YouTube are targeting our families” he said adding, “Masses are being provoked against country’s army, government and judiciary.”
According to media reports, Justice Qazi further stated that the judges were showing tolerance but “it will run out some day”. He also asked Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) if they have checked content on YouTube and inquired how many people who were involved in such activities faced action.
Justice Mushir Alam remarked that “No one can share content against United States or Europe on YouTube.” He added that there are many countries that have banned the video-sharing platform while several countries control social media through local laws.
Earlier, many other social applications such as Bigo and mobile game PUBG have been blocked. PTA has also issued a warning to TikTok as they received several complaints immoral and vulgar content on the said application.
This is not the first time such a decision has surfaced. YouTube was officially banned in September 2012 in Pakistan for almost three years after an anti-Islam film was uploaded on the site. Unfortunately, it was the peak time when the platform started flourishing as a successful business enterprise all over the world. However, the ban was lifted when the website launched a version that allows the government to demand removal of material it considers offensive.
Many local celebrities also expressed their concern about the statement on social media: