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Pak blocks YouTube

world Updated: May 21, 2010 00:57 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

A day after banning social network site Facebook, Pakistan on Thursday blocked popular video sharing website YouTube for hosting “sacrilegious content”.

On Wednesday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had directed Internet service providers to stop access to Facebook indefinitely because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad.

PTA directed Internet service providers to cut off access to YouTube after a special monitoring cell determined that “objectionable” content on the site was increasing.

PTA initially blocked about 400 web-pages and links with “blasphemous” and “sacrilegious” material but subsequently decided to completely cut off YouTube.

On Thursday evening, two bloggers who held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club were nearly lynched after they argued that the ban did not make sense.

Supporters of the Sunni Tehreek, a right wing religious party, took their objections to mean that the two were in favour of blasphemy. “It is ridiculous how the two had to run for their lives,” recalls local journalist Rafat Saeed.