‘Objectionable content’: SC hints at banning YouTube in Pakistan

Staff Reporter

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan took notice of objectionable content on social media platforms and hinted at shutting down YouTube in the country.

The apex court was hearing a case against suspect Shaukat Ali, involved in a sectarian crime. Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin and Justice Mushir Alam were on the bench hearing the case.

During the hearing, Justice Qazi Amin remarked “We are not against freedom of expression and people have the right to discuss our decisions as we take salaries from public money, he said. But the Constitution also grants us the right to privacy, added Justice Amin.

“YouTube and social media users are targeting our families,” he said, and added masses were provoked against the judiciary and other state institutions of the country.

He continued that the judiciary gave a verdict yesterday and it was discussed on YouTube. “It looks that everyone acts like an expert on social media,” he added.

Justice Mushir Alam asked whether the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had taken notice of such happenings on the platforms.

A PTA official told the court that the authority cannot remove objectionable content but can only report it.

There are many countries where YouTube has been banned while several countries control social media through local laws, said Justice Mushir Alam.

The top court hinted at shutting down YouTube in Pakistan and issued notices to the Attorney General of Pakistan and the Foreign Ministry on the matter.