Afghanistan extended its regulating arm to cyberspace this week by banning YouTube in the country to prevent citizens from viewing a film—made in the United States—that portrays Mohammed as a womanizer and a religious fake.
The YouTube video fuelled anti-American protests in North Africa and the killing of the US ambassador to Libya by Islamist gunmen on the Benghazi consulate.
According to Aimal Marjan—the government’s communications chief, YouTube will remain banned in Afghanistan until the video is taken down.
“Innocence of the Muslims” was promoted by right-wing American pastor Terry Jones—who’s notoriously known for threatening to burn the Koran a couple of years back.
The YouTube ban will probably not be welcomed by advocates of free speech and expression. Still, it’s highly understandable from a security perspective.
Many are questioning whether or not YouTube, the online-video site, should step in to resolve the issue. Religious sensitivities need to be considered in the matter. Regardless if it’s deemed a work of “art,” is it worth the lives lost and the controversy that it has triggered?
Should the government step in or should social media set self-proscribed limitations for content? In any case, this is a problem that needs to be solved quickly.
Source: Times Live