August 13, 2020

Supreme Court issues notices against objectionable content on social media and YouTube

Read Urdu version of the story here.

Supreme Court has taken notice regarding objectionable content on social media and YouTube, and has issued notices to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General.

The notice was taken by Supreme Court on July 22 during a bail hearing of accused Shaukat Ali in a sectarian case. During the hearing, Qazi Amin remarked that everyone becomes our uncle on YouTube, they don’t spare our families either. He also said that the judges don’t have any problem with freedom of expression, we take salaries from the public’s money, and they have the right to comment on our performance and decisions. However, right to personal life is also given to us by our Constitution.

He further asked whether FIA and PTA have seen what goes on YouTube? He said that we passed a judgment yesterday, and it started on YouTube; we are expressing patience, but it has to end.

At this point, PTA officials informed the Court that they cannot take individual content down, and can only report it. Justice Mushir Alam remarked that many countries have banned YouTube, and that try uploading any content against the US and European Union on YouTube.

Justice Qazi Amin said that public is being provoked against the army, judiciary and the government. He also asked PTA officials about the number of complaints that have been filed against such people?

While giving remarks, Justice Mushir Alam also said that many countries regulate social media under laws of the land.

On the other hand, Federal Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, in his tweet, suggested PTA and the courts to refrain from moral policing and from adopting a banning approach. He said that restrictions on internet based apps in Pakistan will only create hurdles in the success of the technology industry in the country. He further said in his tweet, “we are still not out of woods [because of] the judges’ ill-advised interference in economic matters.”

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