YouTube ban lifted: freedoms are weighed

Junior+Manuel+Combarro+and+Senior+Liang+Sung+hold+up+their+birth+country%27s+flag+with+the+percentage+of+freedom+that+country+is+said+to+have%2C+according+to+freedomhouse.org.+Combarro+is+from+Spain+and+Sung+is+from+Burma.

Andrew Tapp

Junior Manuel Combarro and Senior Liang Sung hold up their birth country’s flag with the percentage of freedom that country is said to have, according to freedomhouse.org. Combarro is from Spain and Sung is from Burma.

Andrew Tapp, Reporter

When someone gets on their computer and wants to look up a funny cat video, where does someone go? YouTube, which is the most popular video streaming website, according to www.ebizmba.com. Anyone can watch anything they want whenever they want. However, not everyone in the world enjoys the same freedoms those in the United States do.

On Jan. 25, Pakistan stated they will be lifting the ban on YouTube, but will still be blocking some videos. The ban started when a video called “Innocence of Muslims”, a fake trailer for a fake movie making of Islam, was uploaded to the website. However, halfway across the world, in the U.S., something like this would never happen because of the first amendment. Some, like sophomore Sophia Craig, think that because of this, Americans are ungrateful for the freedoms that they have.

“People take advantage of (their freedoms),” Craig said. “They get away with things. They know they’re privileged, but they take advantage of it. They don’t know how other people in the world don’t have as much freedom as them.”

Sophomore Razan Alamoudi is from Saudi Arabia and says the part of Saudi Arabia where she is from has similar freedoms as those in the U.S. However,  in some of the smaller cities, freedoms are restricted.

“Women cannot drive there,” Alamoudi said, “and that really sucks.”

Even countries from the Western part of the world don’t share the same freedoms as the U.S. Junior Manuel Combarro is a foreign exchange student from Spain that is studying here in the U.S. He says  that there are a few differences in freedoms between the two countries, such as drinking being legal at 18 in Spain but a driver’s license isn’t available until age 18. Combarro says that overall, the countries are very similar in their freedoms.

 “You can go where you want and give your opinion of things. It is the same,”  Combarro said.

Over the past few years, the Burmese population in the U.S. has been on the rise with millions of people coming over in search of freedom and a better life. Senior Lian Sian Sang says that there are barely any freedoms in Burma.

“You can absolutely not say ‘I hate the president’,” Sung said. “If you are not one of a certain ethnic group or one religion, you cannot be a (government official).”

Some people wonder, though, if Americans truly appreciate the freedoms they have. Do Americans take things like the First Amendment and civil rights legislation for granted? Craig says that people who have lived in the U.S. their entire life don’t understand how good they have it.

While Pakistan may be taking a step towards freedom, it still has a long way to go to catch up with the U.S. and other countries like it.