Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pakistan will start monitoring 7 major websites, including Google and Yahoo, for content it deems offensive to Muslims

YouTube, Amazon, MSN, Hotmail and Bing will also come under scrutiny, while 17 less well-known sites will be blocked. Officials will monitor the sites and block links deemed inappropriate. In May 2010, Pakistan banned access to Facebook after the social network hosted a "blasphemous" competition to draw the prophet Muhammad. The new action will see Pakistani authorities monitor content published on the 7 sites, blocking individual pages if content is judged to be offensive. The ban on Facebook was lifted after about two weeks, when the site blocked access to the page, called Everybody Draw Muhammad. Facebook itself is not on the new list of websites to be monitored. A number of links from YouTube will be blocked but not the main site itself. Many Muslims regard depictions of Muhammad, even favorable ones, as blasphemous. In 2007, the government banned YouTube, allegedly to block material offensive to the government of Pervez Musharraf.

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