The Alternatives

If you think SaudiFlager is not such a bad idea, brace yourself for this: NaqaTube, a website from Saudi Arabia that aims to offer a clean alternative to YouTube, preventing the youth from watching profane or sexually explicit video clips online.

Abu Ibraheem, one of the moderators of the website who did not wish to reveal his real name, told Arab News that clips on NaqaTube are religiously safe and often edited prior to being uploaded. The site also censors clips that are against the government, individuals and scholars, or which mock people in general. Abu Ibraheem added that women’s images are totally forbidden, along with music.

Okay, stop laughing. Let’s get serious. Let’s forget that YouTube’s TOS clearly prohibit pornography or sexually explicit content, videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making, and graphic or gratuitous violence. Let’s forget the question of whether women’s images and music are halal or haram.

This is not the first attempt by religious people to make clean alternatives of popular internet offerings. Before NaqaTube there was GodTube, JewTube, and IslamicTube. Heck, a Saudi company have been promoting a whole clean internet under the name Gnet for years.

Although I never thought that building Arabic/Islamic alternatives to popular internet services is exactly a good idea, I find myself today not minding it very much. More choices to the people is not a bad thing, I guess. But I still wonder about the prospects of these projects, especially after the recent acquisition of Maktoob by Yahoo!. Is this a sustainable business model? Can these alternatives survive the competition by focusing on such specific niches?

24 thoughts on “The Alternatives

  1. YouTube has many explicit content in Arabic, it goes through because YouTube “doesn’t understand Arabic”.
    also Look at how weird “related videos” for Arabic videos are… Totally unrelated and many explicit videos

  2. I don’t know how others use You Tube. In my own case I almost never go to You Tube directly. I usually look for something in particular – in my case usually an old song and let Google point me to what is available. If that is how one uses You Tube, the alternative services will never be able to replace it.

  3. How do these alternatives actually find anything to show anyway? The supply of suitable videos must be dismally small.

    I did find a lot of really revolting Arabic videos on YouTube when I looked for Arabic dancing, I considered those defenitely porn with clothes on.

  4. I believe that such alternatives are meritorious.

    Whether they meet the demands of commercial success is a separable inquiry.

    However, there should be the ability of those who so desire to initiate such an enterprise.

    And, those who are adult should be free to view these or not.

    Surely, freedom of choice regarding informational content is a goal that you support, Ahmed.

  5. As an IT guy I have to question the sustainability of such a project. YouTube is notorious for being an unprofitable money sink. The only reason it hasn’t been shut down is that Google is pumping huge amounts of money into it while it looks for a profitable economic model. Video bandwidth is expensive, so I have to wonder if they have enough financial backing to stay afloat.

  6. Hahahah!!!And what we could really see on Naqa Tube?Boring cartoons?Or people playing shooting-range?Or is too violent and devious?
    I think this isn’t a sustainable business model,because it offers restricted choices. Many videos on YouTube are made to meditate,to amuse,to entertain…There is no competition.

  7. Will Naqa will be totally free from for those who seek piracy under the umbrella of Islam>> i doubt it.. Some Mutwateen violate copy rights so easily just becusase it came from ” non -believers”.

  8. There is nothing wrong in having naqatube. What’s wrong if some decent guy is trying to make a website where indecent or corrupting videos are not available? No body is being forced to watch it? If people like youtube, they can still go and visit it and others who don’t have a better option. If nobody criticizes youtube for showing whatever they like, why criticize Naqatube.

  9. Naqatube is ridiculous because it would be a waste of time and money.

    It’s only there so that unhip people can feel better about their inability to deal with videos like adults.

  10. “he site also censors clips that are against the government, individuals and scholars.”
    “Abu Ibraheem added that women’s images are totally forbidden, along with music.”

    these people stink.


    “What’s wrong if some decent guy is trying to make a website where indecent or corrupting videos are not available?”

    what exactly are you talking about? indecent or corrupt videos? it is a site against free speech and it obviously is discriminant against women. it’s a media outlet promoting horrific disgusting ideas, that’s what is wrong with having such a website.

  11. Recently a Dutch firm started an ‘Islamic Google’ on similar premises.

    Personally, I don’t see the problem as long as they don’t try to ban the real YouTube. Everyone’s at their own liberty to visit whichever version suits them.

  12. I generally agree that as long as our “dirty youtube” isn’t affected or internet isn’t affected this would be just one more option. However if it supplants the other ones it is dangerous. The “dirty youtube” also has political speeches, debates, documentaries, interviews etc which would be eradicated.

  13. At Amjad,

    Not showing women on naqatube is not to disrespect women. It i due to religious reasons. I am a woman and I don’t feel neglected but honoured.

    • Actually, no, sorry, I don’t find the idea of people who don’t know me saying that I should never ever EVER get to post a video of myself on the internet giving an opinion on a subject that holds interest to me.

      Who do they think they are, that they should shut me up?

      What sort of honor it this, to be viewed as mute and stupid and without any opinions worth exposure to others?

  14. @ Saleema
    of course you feel honored. you were raised to think so, brainwashed more like. discrimination is far from honoring tho.

  15. Amjad
    and what if it seems to others that you were raised to think the way you are thinking and have been brainwashed regarding certain concepts?

  16. I thought naqatube is for camels to watch…
    maybe I’m not wrong afterall…

    plz saleema honored that a big percentage of men in our society consider a woman haram just for being a woman… I MEAN WE ARE HERE..they can’t simply make a women’s section for everything even on the internet. you know the prophet peace be upon him used to listen to his wife and daughter publically, let’s not get caught up between relegion and culture.

    ..way to go amjad…

    respects to all..

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