In times where the world leaps to seek advantage of technological advancements, it is a shame to see Pakistan impose a potential ban on a platform like YouTube that has served as a social media giant producing the first set of digital influencers.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan hinted towards a possible ban on YouTube in Pakistan on Wednesday, 22 July while hearing the case of Shaukat Ali who was involved in sectarian crime. The remarks have spurred unrest amongst the multitudinous content creators and general public who oppose it.
Public concerns over possible Youtube ban
A similar concern was shared by a member of Question Updates who has insisted that banning YouTube overall is not the legitimate solution to a problem like this. He has argued that YouTube nests many talented content creators who are not only earning to support themselves but the economy of Pakistan as well. He also states that YouTube serves a vast digital library where people learn something new every day.
Pakistan’s digital space has been curbed on and off over the last two decades. The notorious ban on YouTube in 2016 hampered the progress of our nation digitally; it stripped us of many opportunities that could have served as a foundation to build stronger ideas.
A more pragmatic approach
There are numerous social media platforms where cybercrimes are common, and not just in Pakistan but generally around the world too. However; this does not mean we block the social media platform in general instead of addressing the problem in particular or the troublemaker. We have devised various laws to tackle issues of cyber-bullying etc and thus should be able to amend our policies to filter content that is likely to stimulate hate crime or other such problems on YouTube as well.
Just like gun control and other laws which exist to police the use and abuse of the medium, similar laws can be formulated with the consent of authorities and consensus of general public to sift the content that we allow on such mediums.
YouTube has served to entertain a vast majority of individuals in trying times like these where outdoor activities are severely limited. Other than that, a huge chunk of the population that makes use of this medium is that of students for online education. The platform has been the source of bread and butter for many content creators who have invested time and money to establish themselves. Just because some people refuse to act right and follow the civilized way of approaching things, we cannot strip the vast majority of their right to express and share their opinion.
Thus, the issue is not that of a particular social medium, but that of the mentality of certain individuals which needs to be addressed.