A localised YouTube service will be available in Pakistan. But users are far from happy
Who would've thought the news earlier this month of YouTube?? being finally made accessible in Pakistan , albeit as a local search engine, would open a floodgate of criticism?
Minster of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Anusha Rehman certainly did not. She probably thought she had done a good turn --- wooed many young digital rights activists who had long been demanding unblocking of the
website and calmed others who had demanded blocking of objectionable content from it.
Instead of installing costly filtration mechanisms, Google will easily be able to block blasphemous content on the request of the Pakistan government, Rehman told the Senate's Standing Committee on Information and Technology. Saudi
Arabia and Malaysia have also reached a similar arrangement with Google, she added.
But Farieha Aziz, director at Bolo Bhi, a not-for-profit geared towards advocacy, policy and research in the areas of gender rights, government transparency, internet access, digital security and privacy, dismissed the news out right saying:
There is no arrangement between the company and the government, unlike the perception the government is projecting.
I don't want a localised version. Remember what became of Disney in India with everything getting dubbed in Hindi! I would definitely prefer the original version, said a resolute 12-year old Khadeja Ebrahim, a YouTube buff. I love
YouTube, my entire school loves YouTube and we hate the people who have blocked it, she added vehemently.