by Mike Masnick
Mon, Feb 25th 2008 12:50am
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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