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article image'Blasphemous' content prompts Pakistan to block YouTube

By Andrew Moran     May 20, 2010 in World
Islamabad - The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) ordered internet service providers to block access to the popular video sharing website YouTube because of "blasphemous" material that was posted.
On Thursday, the PTA ordered various ISPs to block access to YouTube because of “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious” content, which the government of Pakistan feels is pursuing an anti-Islamic agenda, according to Ynet News.
The PTA did not provide any specific content but only cited that the website had “growing sacrilegious contents.” The organization also welcomed representatives from YouTube and Facebook to visit the Pakistani government to discuss the issue and resolve the dispute.
The block against YouTube came one day after the government blocked access to Facebook because of anger over the website encouraging users to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, which Islam prohibits, reports the Associated Press.
“We strongly condemn the publication of blasphemous caricatures of our holy Prophet on Facebook,” said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Abdul Basit.
Facebook said it was investigating the issue. The company also issued a statement:
“While the content does not violate our terms, we do understand it may not be legal in some countries. In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries.”
Press TV reports that YouTube is working hard to make sure that service is up and working as soon as possible in Pakistan.
Pakistan has blocked access to YouTube before - for two days in 2008 YouTube was blocked because of what the government called "unIslamic content," according to the Associated Press.
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