Pakistan Joins The Axis Of NoTube; Screws Up The Internet

from the yeah,-that'll-work dept

Some news stories really make you wonder if politicians ever think their actions through. It’s as if they don’t realize that anything they do might have a reaction that nullifies the point of the action in the first place. An example of this would be the repeated ridiculous attempts by various countries to ban YouTube entirely. We’ve already seen it happen in Brazil, Turkey, Morocco and Thailand. In every case, it was over some random video that the government (or a judge) found offensive. Yet, in calling for the entire site to be blocked, the effort only called a lot more attention to the offending videos, while also pissing off the much larger population of folks who were using YouTube to look at other content. The latest to join this crowd would be Pakistan, who quietly ordered ISPs to block YouTube without making any kind of public announcement. Of course, in doing so, the ISP PCCW that serves many countries throughout Asia accidentally blocked YouTube in many other countries as well — and apparently directed a barrage of unwanted traffic at a Pakistani site, basically knocking Pakistan off the internet for a bit. Oops. Given how little previous bans of YouTube succeeded in preventing interest in these “offensive” videos, does Pakistan actually think it will work this time?

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Comments on “Pakistan Joins The Axis Of NoTube; Screws Up The Internet”

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Yangyang (profile) says:

Re: Get a clue, folks!

Because these over-reacting governments often use religion as the reason for the repression of their people.
Some religions repress women, some repress homosexuals, some repress both and other groups. There are few, if any, religions out there which are not into repression in some form or another.
I guess religions do not like people to think. Otherwise these thinkers would soon come to see their religion for what it is. Emptiness to fill the void of the meaning of life. Personally, i prefer Monty Python’s take on that theme.

Rich Kulawiec says:

Anonymous @ 8

You’re “worried about having a Muslim in office”? Please tell me you haven’t been so abysmally stupid as to fall for the disparaging chain letters going around discussing Senator Obama. This is fear-mongering nonsense, of course, but it seems to play very well with those of limited intellectual ability.

It’s also wrong. The man’s a Christian, and has been for decades. See, for example:
Barack Obama – Wikipedia which reads in part:

A theme of Obama’s 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote
address, and the title of his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope”,
was inspired by his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In Chapter
6 of the book, titled “Faith,” Obama writes that he “was not
raised in a religious household.” He describes his mother,
raised by non-religious parents, as detached from religion,
yet “in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I
have ever known.” He describes his Kenyan father as “raised a
Muslim,” but a “confirmed atheist” by the time his parents met,
and his Indonesian stepfather as “a man who saw religion as
not particularly useful.” The chapter details how Obama, in
his twenties, while working with local churches as a community
organizer, came to understand “the power of the African American
religious tradition to spur social change”:

“It was because of these newfound understandings — that
religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical
thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social
justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and
loved — that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of
Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized.”

He joined Trinity in 1988. A megachurch with 10,000 members,
Trinity United Church of Christ is the largest congregation in
the United Church of Christ.

So if you want to be concerned that the man’s a devout Christian, fine, be concerned about that — because it’s REAL. But this feeble whispering campaign is odious and reflects very poorly on the bigots, liars, and fools propagating it.

MRBILL says:

Re: Anonymous @ 8

What has the comment made by the person about Muslims in the office have to do with Mr. Obama? I like the man but he probably won’t be able to get elected due to all of the racist people in this country. If he does get elected then all of us will have to protect him from the boys of the south. I just want to see a good person stay safe.

Rich Kulawiec says:

Anonymous (@ 16, MrBill)

It’s the precise language being used in the whispering campaign — in chain letters and in blogs and elsewhere. Never too specific, never showing the courage to come right out and engage in a smear, but just enough to tweak bigotry and prejudice in those susceptible to it.

I can’t stand stupid, so my approach to this is slap the morons promoting it — hard. They deserve it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I love the fact that no one in the religious world seems to realise that blocking “offensive to my religion” content, or trying to ban it or otherwise cover it up, just makes them all appear weak and scared.

Surely any religion, or group, that is comfortable with its beliefs and practices, can defend their beliefs without having to resort to simply banning any criticism / offensiveness? What happened to just saying “Ok, whatever you say” and getting on with life?

They’re all cowards. All religions always have been, and they always will be, because they’re terrified of losing control.

Anonymous Coward says:

If you think the biggest issue or the biggest problem Pakistan has is their govt.’s blocking of YouTube, you really have no clue at all what life is like there.

Oh, and there is a small difference between the catholic church protesting something because you don’t agree with the message and chopping someone’s head off because you don’t agree with them.

Rich Kulawiec says:


It’s actually 2008, but that aside: I study the past so that I can live in the future. And one of the things I’ve learned is that if you step back far enough, you can see that there is really no difference in the conduct of any organized religion: when it suits their purposes, they’re quite willing to do anything to sustain their power and influence. Sometimes that’s via political means; sometimes it’s economic; and other times it’s by execution. Which one isn’t determined by predilection, but by expediency.

From what I sit, there is little effective difference between (to pick a couple of contemporary examples) the Taliban (still alive and well, by the way) and the Westboro Baptist Church. Yes, their behaviors are occasionally different, but that’s only due to externally imposed constraints. If you actually pay attention to what they’re saying — the message is the same.

So please don’t pretend that Christianity or Judaism or any other primitive superstitious nonsense is somewhere more civilized than Islam. They’re not. Any temporary appearance to the contrary is just a momentary aberration — a brief interruption in a pattern that’s been sustained for millenia.

Rich Kulawiec says:


Oh, I’m well aware of this — didn’t I mention that I’m a student of history?

There’s a significant difference between, let’s say, political or economic or ethnic groups and religious groups. Yes, you can get people fairly worked up over those former differences — sometimes, you can get them worked up enough to kill in large numbers, to go war, to commit genocide, if you work at it.

But if you really want to unleash the worst that people have — then use religion. There’s nothing like invoking the authority of a god (or gods) to keep human beings going at it for millenia. As we see every day, looking around the world — even wars that go on for decades are trifling, temporary skirmishes compared to conflicts based on religious differences.

Anonymous Coward says:

Rich, but just because religion is used doesn’t mean that is the cause. Get rid of religion and the excuse will just be something different. Focusing on America, what wars have we fought that were religious? WWI? WWII? Korea? Vietnam? Iraq I and II? I just don’t see it.

We may be in a religious war right now, but that is our our enemy sees it, not America.

Religion, just like politics, is used for some groups to gain power. It doesn’t cause it, but humans turn it into that.

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