Authorities in Saudi Arabia ask YouTube to take down 'offensive content'

Saudi communications bodies said legal measures could be used if content is not removed

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have asked YouTube to remove indecent advertisements and videos being shown to users in the kingdom. AFP
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Authorities in Saudi Arabia have asked YouTube to remove 'offensive' advertisements and videos being shown to users in the kingdom.

A joint statement by the Saudi Commissions of Audiovisual Media and the Communications and Information Technology Commission said the inappropriate content of the ads on YouTube was against Islamic laws, social values and media regulations in the kingdom and on the platform.

The statement said a request has been passed on to YouTube to remove the ads and to follow regulations.

“We will follow up the commitment of the platform and, if the offensive content continues to be broadcast, necessary legal measures that are in line with the audiovisual communication and media regulations in the country, will be taken,” the statement which was issued on Saturday said.

The decision followed recent tweets by Saudi citizens who raised the issue with authorities asking for tighter control to be imposed on online content.

“Posting pornographic advertisements that will destroy the values ​​and morals of our children have spread on YouTube,” Fahd Al Attawi wrote on Twitter.

“As part of your responsibility before God, we hope you address YouTube to stop this moral decadence, or do your national duty to protect our children by blocking the site in Saudi Arabia.”

Saudi political writer and member of the board of directors of the Saudi Association for Political Science Suleiman Aloqeliy wrote that such content is offensive to Arab and Islamic ethics.

“You hardly open YouTube and not see indecent advertisements that are directed against Arab and Islamic morals,” he wrote.

“With all respect to freedoms, can’t these companies be confronted with legal action aimed at stopping such campaigns that are directed against our children?”

Updated: July 24, 2022, 2:24 PM
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