Google has unveiled a local variant of YouTube in Pakistan, where the site has been banned since almost four years ago. The unveiling is regarded as a positive step in getting rid of the blockade, placed in a hiatus after the appearance of an American-made video that showed the Prophet Mohammed in bad light.
The new homepage, YouTube.com.pk, boasts of local language and content, but is presently not accessible within Pakistan. The blockade could be lifted in the coming weeks as the country’s Supreme Court is expected to come up with a decision whether Google can be accessible again.
A source stated to the AFP, “We are in a very near-term sort of thing,” AFP added, “The roadblocks have been removed.”
Getting rid of the hurdles relied on whether Google agreed to act in accordance with requests by Pakistan’s telecom authority to get rid of the offensive content. It seems that the requests would be granted, even though a spokesperson said that every take-down request would go undergo a review process.
The spokesman said, “We have clear community guidelines, and when videos violate those rules, we remove them.”
Pakistan imposed the blockade of YouTube in 2012 after it declined to eradicate a film referred to as “Innocence of Muslims.” The video’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammed stimulated fatal protests in Pakistan. Since 2012, users in the country have resorted to proxies in order to sneak into the video streaming site.
Also on Tuesday, YouTube has also unveiled new home pages in South Asian countries Nepal and Sri Lanka. Anand Gautam, YouTube Asia Pacific’s director of operations and content, stated in a blog post, “With these launches, we hope to pave the way for the work of more local creators, personalities and musicians to shine on the world’s largest and most vibrant video community.”