Pakistan Blocked Wikipedia for 48 Hours Over ‘Sacrilegious’ Content

ISLAMABAD: On grounds of intentional failure to comply by the instruction, the Pakistan Telecom authority blocked Wikipedia for 48 hours as the website refused to remove sacrilegious content from its portal. The restoration of the services will be subjected to consideration if the website removes the content, the telecom department added.

“Wikipedia was approached for blocking/removal of the said contents by issuing a notice under applicable law & court order(s). An opportunity of hearing was also provided, however, the platform neither complied by removing the blasphemous content nor appeared before the Authority”, the Pakistan Telecom Authority tweeted.

“Given the intentional failure on part of the platform to comply with the directions of PTA, the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours with the direction to block/remove the reported contents”, it added.

This is not the first time the Paksitani govt has cracked down on the information sharing platform. Earlier services of the portal were degraded an act slammed by freedom of speech advocates in the country.

In 2012, the Pakistan government had blocked more than 700 YouTube links to an anti-Islam film which triggered massive protests across several countries. The top court had directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to block the links to the movie, a media agency had reported.

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