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Pakistan should have its own YouTube, Facebook offices: Islamabad court

Court rules establishment of offices will help PTA monitor content

SAMAA | - Posted: Jan 6, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jan 6, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Pakistan should have its own YouTube, Facebook offices: Islamabad court

Photo: AFP

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Pakistan is trying to get YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms to open their offices in the country, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday. During a hearing of a petition against the release of Lady of Heaven, the PTA said it can only write letters to YouTube, but can't block any content on it. To this Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that if social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter open offices in the country, it will become easier for the authority to monitor content on their platforms. The Ministry of Information doesn't have anything to do with "blasphemous" content on social media, the court ruled, adding that these matters should only be handled by the telecommunication authority. The court has adjourned the case until next week and asked the PTA to present a copy of the Social Media Rules, 2020 at the next hearing. The case The PTA has approached several social media platforms to block the trailer of film Lady of Heaven. The Authority announced the move in a January 3 press release and said it has asked social media platforms to remove trailers of the movie, which it has deemed “sacrilegious”. The film is about an Iraqi child who learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, he finds himself in a new home, where his loving grandmother narrates the historical story of Lady Fatima (AS) and how her suffering as the first victim of terrorism spun out of control into the 21st century. The PTA has identified 336 URLs so far with promos and teasers of the film and reported them to different platforms. The film has been criticised in Iran by the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani. He called it divisive.
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Pakistan is trying to get YouTube, Facebook and other social media platforms to open their offices in the country, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told the Islamabad High Court on Tuesday.

During a hearing of a petition against the release of Lady of Heaven, the PTA said it can only write letters to YouTube, but can’t block any content on it.

To this Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that if social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter open offices in the country, it will become easier for the authority to monitor content on their platforms.

The Ministry of Information doesn’t have anything to do with “blasphemous” content on social media, the court ruled, adding that these matters should only be handled by the telecommunication authority.

The court has adjourned the case until next week and asked the PTA to present a copy of the Social Media Rules, 2020 at the next hearing.

The case

The PTA has approached several social media platforms to block the trailer of film Lady of Heaven.

The Authority announced the move in a January 3 press release and said it has asked social media platforms to remove trailers of the movie, which it has deemed “sacrilegious”.

The film is about an Iraqi child who learns the importance and power of patience. After losing his mother, he finds himself in a new home, where his loving grandmother narrates the historical story of Lady Fatima (AS) and how her suffering as the first victim of terrorism spun out of control into the 21st century.

The PTA has identified 336 URLs so far with promos and teasers of the film and reported them to different platforms.

The film has been criticised in Iran by the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani. He called it divisive.

 
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