Tania Aidrus and Fawad Chaudhry against banning YouTube in Pakistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and Federal Science Minister Fawad Chaudhry have come out against banning YouTube.

While hearing a bail petition filed by Shaukat Ali, a man accused of a sectarian-based crime, the Supreme Court took notice of social media and YouTube being used as a medium to spread objectionable content.

“Have the PTA or FIA seen what is going on on YouTube?” They don’t even spare our families on YouTube or social media, said Justice Qazi Amin. Some sit and act like our uncles on YouTube, he said, adding that judges are being humiliated.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Aidrus said our focus should be on curating quality content through policy framing and dialogue, not on banning the platform completely.

In September 2012, Pakistan banned access to YouTube till 2016 after an anti-Islam film was uploaded on the site, sparking violent protests across the country.

Aidrus said Pakistani content creators suffered a lot during these years and banning it again only when Pakistani YouTubers were beginning to create an ecosystem will deprive many people of employment.

Similarly, Chaudhry remarked that courts and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority should stop “moral policing”.

He added that it will only hurt Pakistan’s tech industry.

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