Dawn News

PM orders immediate shutdown of Youtube services

"Access denied" error message is displayed upon logging on to Youtube in Pakistan.
"Access denied" error message is displayed upon logging on to Youtube in Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minsiter Raja Pervez Ashraf has ordered immediate shutdown of video-sharing website Youtube in the aftermath of protests against anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which is still available on the website, DawnNews reported on Monday.

In a directive issued to the Ministry of Information Technology, the PM stated that the decision was taken after Youtube decided against removing the film and the shutdown will remain effective until the website removes all content from the sacrilegious film.

In a statement released last week, Youtube said it would not remove the film as it does not violate its terms of use, despite pressure from the White House to review its decision.

At the filing of this report (2045PST) the website still remained accessible in Pakistan.

Protests against the film have broken out all across the Muslim world and have spread over Pakistan in the last few days, with one person being killed in violent protests on Monday.

While Youtube has not removed the controversial clip, it has blocked access to it in countries where violent protests have remained unabated. These include Libya, Egypt and most recently, India and Indonesia.

YouTube cited “very sensitive situations” in those two countries.

In its Friday statement, YouTube said that outside of Libya, Egypt, India and Indonesia, the video will remain on its website.

“We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,” the YouTube statement said.

“This can be a challenge because what’s OK in one country can be offensive elsewhere. This video - which is widely available on the web - is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, we’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal such as India and Indonesia as well as in Libya and Egypt, given the very sensitive situations in these two countries. This approach is entirely consistent with principles we first laid out in 2007.”

Interior Minister Rehman Malik later on, while speaking at a press conference, said that a letter will written to the OIC chairman regarding the matter as well as the Secretary Interpol.

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Comments (41) Closed

mohammad ibrahim
Sep 17, 2012 06:20pm
We support you for these steps.
Sep 17, 2012 06:17pm
Same old story, for two days they will shut down the service and third day they have to run it again as its uncle Sam's order and everyone will forget the movie and protesters will have something new issue to protest.
Sep 17, 2012 06:15pm
This should have been done by the government soon after the violence broke out in Libya, but as usual and as expected, they were reactive.
Tariq Ahmed
Sep 18, 2012 02:26am
i dont understand why our demonstrators act violently during demonstarations and destroy public and private property? The police should not be silent spectators and should have a zero tolerance for any troublemakers, it is one thing to march and protest, it is the right of the public, but they have no right to destroy any property, it is forbidden in Islam, yet it is the Islamic parties whose members are the most responsible for this, so while they pretend to defend Islam from an evil movie, they break Islamic laws about protecting public and private property.
Sep 18, 2012 02:41am
Pakistan and its leaders never fail to shoot themselves in their feet. Youtube has many educational programs like Khan's Academy for math ,finance and science tutorials , medical procedures tutorials and other educational and entertainment videos. One should completely ignore the non sense and distractions which enemies of Islam and Muslims want us to be trapped into. We should be smart enough to understand their traps and give them no chance to distract us.
Sep 18, 2012 02:52am
This is the step we have been waiting for a long time. you tube must be banned in Pakistan and other Muslim countries until it removes all its pages related to blasphemous material. I am sure if all the Muslim world bans you tube for a week they would remove this movie from their website for ever and learn that Muslims can go to any extend for their religion and their beloved prophet (peace be upon him).
Sep 18, 2012 02:55am
Good Job. These pathetic people (who did this heinous act) are so sick that they don't even know what they are doing whether they are "film" makers or youtube's insensible authorities. Curse you western freedom of expression!!!. Love of the Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) is now more than ever may peace be upon his soul. Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammad.
Sep 17, 2012 05:33pm
Keep in banned, until they are humbled.
Sep 17, 2012 06:01pm
What our incompetent PM and his tech-averse band of advisors don't realize is that there are hundreds of other video sharing websites out there in addition to YouTube. It's only a matter of time before some provocateur uploads the offending movie elsewhere. YouTube and its parent company Google can do very little (just like in the case of Facebook and the sacrilegious cartoon issue from the recent past) to remove the video: partly because someone else will upload it again right-away, if not on YT, then elsewhere; and partly because YT/Facebook are just a medium where all of the content is user-generated. Ignoring the movie altogether would have meant a swift kick to the extremely immature movie to oblivion. Now, condemning the movie and moving on with our lives is the best thing we can do. We, as Muslims, can also start a campaign to educate others about Islam and show the world the positive impact this religion has had on the world.
Sep 18, 2012 04:26am
Finally !
Sep 17, 2012 07:09pm
Great.. Ban facebook, twitter and all the other websites. Only allow websites which has one point of view. I mean, are you kidding ? If there is something which requires ban right now is Drone attacks. It is shameful that the foreign troops are staying there in your country.. Dont you have anything good to do ?
Sep 17, 2012 03:54pm
this is maybe my third comment on Dawn in this regards. The said clip mentioned here as blocked in India is very much available here in India even now and infact I checked it out before I came on to comment on this.So I request you to check facts before you comment. And secondly what violence in India regards this topic, there is none
abbas kd
Sep 17, 2012 03:58pm
In the US where this "offensive" film was made by the bunch of Jews, US government did not feel the need to either shut down YouTube or to beat up the Producer of the film just like the innocent people are being beaton up & killed by the police in the Muslim countries. US does not want to speak out for the Freedom of Speach for the Muslims, this right is only reserved for the Jews. How about the Freedom of Speach for Mel Gibson when he said "Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world", how right he was in saying that.
Sep 17, 2012 04:04pm
Buhat Dair ki Mehrban (Raja Ji) aatay aatay :)
Sep 17, 2012 04:17pm
very very happy news from the recent government they should also bolck google which is the boss of youtube
Sep 17, 2012 04:21pm
Google owns Youtube. So will he ban Google too ? He could have ordered the ban of that particular video clip as has been rightly done in many countries.
Hazim Noohani
Sep 17, 2012 04:27pm
its very sad to say but our IT department does not have skilled peoples, youtube is still accessible via https they have just blocked it on http only..please convey this message to concerned authority to block it on https also. if they need any technical help i can do them...
Sep 17, 2012 04:24pm
It wasn't Youtube, it was Google who own it.
Esa Khan
Sep 17, 2012 04:24pm
What is the point just ban the videos don't the whole site plzz for god sakes
Syed Ali
Sep 17, 2012 04:30pm
We work hard to create a community everyone can enjoy and which also enables people to express different opinions,
Sep 17, 2012 04:37pm
the film is easily available on youtube india
Truth Hurts
Sep 17, 2012 04:40pm
Too late,and no meaning...but at LEAST did SOMEEEETHINGGGG
Muhammad ejaz Tanoli
Sep 17, 2012 04:42pm
i appropriate the decision of PM ! i give the proof being a Muslim
Sep 17, 2012 04:50pm
well done but very late Pakistan should take this kind of initiative in advance and should show other to follow.
a s ahmed
Sep 17, 2012 04:53pm
Mr. PM how long you are going to keep the ban ?
Sep 17, 2012 04:58pm
YouTube had it coming, Violated its own YouTube Community Guidelines #YouTubeBannedInPakistan #HitWhereItHurtsTheMost
Sep 17, 2012 05:04pm
It is very disgusting to know that the so-called enlightened and civilized people do not know the difference between "Insulting others" and "the freedom of speech".
marghoob ahmed siddiqui
Sep 17, 2012 07:50pm
Yes This is a good step. But entire Muslim world must do some thing concrete so they know what is the result of such nunsense actions by such fanatics. We respect all religions and will like them to respect Islam.
Sep 17, 2012 05:15pm
Good Keep blocking all web sites operated on different soil other than Pakistan. That helps a lot to keep Peace in Pakistan and as well as in Rest of the World. Anyway most of world is started isolating Pakistan and Pakistani nationals, and let us start isolating the world.and start live in 15th century model.
Sep 17, 2012 05:17pm
Dear PM, Just ban the whole internet and be done with it!!! And PPP is suppose to be the liberal party...who do we turn to now!
saira ahmed
Sep 17, 2012 11:44pm
Best way to defend the dignity and pride of Rehmatul Aalamin for muslims is to: 1. Say shahada and become muslms in first place. 2. Practice islam i.e. Be honest, always speak truth, keep our promises in short Be a Muslim like Prophet Muhammad Salal Laho ilehe wasallam Unfortunately: Muslims make fun of Islam every single moment in life by disobeying Allah and His prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) & when someone cheap does it for cheap publicity, we help him get publicly known by holding rallies and destroying innocent lives and property. Today our role model are TV & Bigscreen Models. Tell me for how many muslims real role model is prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) i.e. we have adopted his sunnat in our daily life.
zehra abidi
Sep 17, 2012 10:17pm
Government should take a step in urgent bases . Every site should be monitor by our technology supporter I did see in other country in Iran U cannot see those type of things because they know our younger get and learn things very easily take a negative effect in seconds i think it will be not a big deal just like load-shedding in Pakistan
Sep 17, 2012 11:08pm
good job - all Muslim countries should block YouTube and all Muslims should stop using Google until this video is completely removed. Try posting anti-holocaust or anti Jews film. Moreover, Muslim countries should learn how to handle such situations, violence is anti-Islamic , emotional. West only understands capitalism, all Muslim world should stop using Google and they will understand as their Ad market will shrink. Do not use Google, use Bing
Anjum Khaleeq
Sep 17, 2012 07:14pm
Thanks indeed PM Sahib. But I'd like to point a loophole here, I tried accessing Youtube from my Ufone GPRS, and it worked out. I contacted Ufone's call centre, the agent told me that they have not received anything in black and white from PTA so far so their users can enjoy running youtube. I asked him to log a complaint from my end, but he apologized. I would like to request PTA to direct Cellular Companies to ban the youtube services on their particular networks too. Despite knowing the fact that youtube offers many educational and constructive videos too, but to register our protest this really is diehard necessary - youtube knows very well, what a countrywide ban means - its really destructive for their revenue. China did it to youtube a couple of years back and they were like on their knees.
Sep 18, 2012 12:08am
What will you ban next? The whole internet? And why not - your inability to control your emotions is your problem. First there were people laughing at this video. Now the same people will laugh at you. Provocations abound in every sphere of life. Getting provoked is a weakness. Think about it before you condemn this comment and this commenter.
sparky singh
Sep 17, 2012 08:12pm
Is there a supernatural force in Pakistan that opens youtube automatically and searches for "innocence of muslims" and plays the video clip? If not then why are people getting offended. Just don't play what you don't ant to see.
HM, Canada
Sep 17, 2012 08:13pm
Good Decision ... to shut down youtube. Also shut down google the owners of youtube. That is the best peaceful protest. If all Muslim countries shut down the youtube and google it will make a difference, as they relies on ads for their revenue. Individuals can boycott the google and use Yahoo as search engine... Thanks
Sep 17, 2012 05:39pm
very good...let them go to the dark age..
Sep 18, 2012 09:06am
good desicion @ Mr Prime Minister
Sep 17, 2012 09:38pm
Finally a small good step from PAK may Allah forgive us .....this is the least they we can do
Sep 18, 2012 01:49am
What a joke. Rehman malik last week claimed that this video is banned and Govt of pakistan is strictly monitoring the websites. isnt it a shame to have liars like them as our rulers.