Pakistan blocks Twitter access over “Blasphemous Content”
Pakistan has blocked Twitter over alleged “blasphemous material” on the microblogging service.
A “competition to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed” – strictly forbidden in Islam – on the social network was said to be the reason behind the ban.
“This has been done under the directions of the Ministry of Information Technology. It’s because of blasphemous content,” Mohammed Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), told Reuters.
“[The ministry] have been discussing with [Twitter] for some time now, requesting them to remove some particular content.”
The Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan said its members had been asked to block access to Twitter indefinitely, but had not been given a reason by the government. No specific users or messages were identified regarding the reason for the ban. Yaseen said that Twitter access would be reinstated if discussions between the Pakistan government and the website resolve the situation.
Twitter has become increasingly popular in Pakistan in recent years. Politicians and government officials regularly post on the site. Pakistan blocked access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and around 1,000 other websites for nearly two weeks in May 2010 due to alleged blasphemous content.