What goes around, comes around. After earning a notorious reputation in the blogosphere for stamping out videos critical of Islam and the Danish cartoon debacle because they contained “inappropriate content” and threatening to suspend accounts of anti-jihad video creators, YouTube got gagged by Pakistan over…a video critical of Islam and the Danish cartoon debacle. The news today is that Pakistan has lifted the restrictions. For now:
Pakistan’s telecommunications regulator said Tuesday it has lifted restrictions on YouTube that knocked out access to the video-sharing Web site in many countries for up to two hours over the weekend.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told Internet service providers to restore access to the site after the removal of what it called a “blasphemous” video clip, authority spokeswoman Nabiha Mahmood said.
Pakistan ordered the site blocked on Friday over a clip featuring a Dutch lawmaker who has said he planned to release a movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals.
Mahmood said attempts to access the offending clip on Tuesday afternoon brought up a message explaining that it had been removed on ethical grounds.
She said the authority had posted a complaint through the Web site — a facility open to any registered user — but had not been in contact with the administrators of YouTube.com, which is owned by Internet giant Google, Inc.
While several other videos featuring the politician, Geert Wilders, would remain visible to Pakistani Internet users, Mahmood said the one which was removed had been “totally anti-Quranic” and “very blasphemous.”
She said it promoted Wilders’ upcoming movie, but provided no details about its content.
The authority aimed to restrict the site only in Pakistan, but the move inadvertently cut access for many of the world’s Internet users for up to two hours on Sunday.
YouTube said the next day that it was caused by a network in Pakistan.
“We are investigating and working with others in the Internet community to prevent this from happening again,” YouTube said in an e-mailed statement.
This isn’t the first time a country has blocked YouTube over alleged “insults.” Turkey did it last March.
All hail AllahTube! (Photoshop credit – Jawas)
Howie at the Jawa Report:
Oh the Irony, an attempt by Pakistan to block Muhammad cartoons on youtube will also block the thousands upon thousands of copies of terrorist propaganda!
I was almost upset that Pakistan blocked Youtube there for a minute. But considering the infestation of pro al-Qaeda propaganda on Youtube and Youtube’s poor performance in removing pro terror users and videos. I’ve decided that the ban will block far more pro al-Qaeda propaganda than videos that are offensive to Islam.
Pakistan is a market where al-Qaeda seeks to radicalize and recruit young Muslims through their presence on the web. Any reduction in the amount of al-Qaeda propaganda available there is welcome in my book.