Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) may get its video clearinghouse back in a very tense part of the world. Yes, believe it or not, because Google happens to own YouTube, in some countries Google seems to be held accountable for the video content on its video-sharing site, which has most of its content user-generated and independently posted. YouTube has been in the middle of its own controversies in recent months (like in this story), but it has not seen very many outright bans of the site in various cultures.
Well, except for one that has had a ban in place for more than nine months now. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), however, has not really been involved in proceedings in Pakistan, which are currently going on to determine whether a partial ban on the YouTube site can be lifted. The entire site was banned from Pakistani computers due to a video that was deemed blasphemous and offensive to Muslims in the country. The ban went into effect in September of 2012, and a Pakistani court is currently considering whether the YouTube site should be allowed to be accessed by Pakistanis once again.
The rub right now falls on the Ministry of Information Technology and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authroity (PTA) to determine the tools and technology they have available in order to bring back the entire YouTube channel but filter out content that is deemed offensive. The two entitites say that they do not think they will have the ability to block all controversial content from the site, and if the groups cannot come up with suitable tools to filter the content, the Pakistani court said it will rule at a hearing later this month on the question of fundamental rights and what is in the public interest.
From at least an advertising perspective, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) would certainly have an interest in seeing YouTube reinstated in Pakistan, but the company has been curiously absent from all meetings and hearings regarding the questions of the ban. Whether it is a censorship protest or something more is not clear, but Google should be able to make a convincing argument in favor of opening the site to Pakistanis and thus grow its advertising receptor base.