youtube logoThe Chairman of the General Authority for Audio and Visual Media, Dr Riyadh Najm said that the agency’s role is to censor audio and visual content that appear in media sites such as YouTube.

Anyone who wants to upload media on YouTube must first obtain a permit to join such forums and websites and then agree to the terms and conditions specified.

The General Authority for Audio and Visual Media, a regulatory agency under the Ministry of Culture and Information, monitors activities of media service providers and ensures that Saudi Arabia’s regulations and conditions are followed.

Al Hayat newspaper quoted Dr Najm as saying, “It is one of the tasks of the organization to supervise the visual content that appears on the Internet sites like YouTube.” He pointed out that every country in the world implements censorship. The extent of it varies with each country – some have fewer set of censorship rules than others, all depending on the customs and traditions in each society, he added. Dr Najm was talking to businessmen and media people at a meeting held in the Chamber of Commerce East on Sunday.

Dr Najm informed that the aim of the exercise is to “control the energy of the youth in the kingdom who have been showing increasing interest in the visual communication field. They are not aware of the scope and limits available to them.” The objective is to guide youngsters’ attention towards activities that do blend with the society, culture, and morals of the Saudi community.

The Chairman also expressed his concern about those trying to circumvent the regulations, adding that it would be extremely difficult to go through vast amounts of content. He said that the regulatory board is expecting people to frequently evade the system.