Pakistan has banned Wikipedia in the country because it hurt their feelings
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Pakistan has blocked Wikipedia for hurting ‘Muslim sentiment’.
BBC News reported that the nation’s media regulators locked Wikipedia services after ‘blasphemous content’ was posted.
Under Pakistan law, anyone guilty of insulting Islam or Islamic figures can be sentenced to death.
However, the country has yet to carry out the sentence for blasphemy.
AP News reported that The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) revealed they had blocked the site for ignoring a 48-hour deadline and for refusing to remove the content.
According to the outlet, regulator Malahat Obaid said: “Such things hurt the sentiments of Muslims.”
Wikipedia also confirmed the ban via a tweet: “We believe that access to knowledge is a human right. A block of @Wikipedia in Pakistan denies the 5th most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository.
"If it continues, it will also deprive everyone access to Pakistan's history and culture.”
They continued: "We hope that the Pakistan government joins us in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to @Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world.
We hope that the Pakistan government joins us in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to @Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world. (4/4)https://t.co/8xM73if9B2— Wikimedia Foundation (@Wikimedia) February 4, 2023
Mohsin Raza Khan, a Pakistani social media expert, condemned the move to NBC News, saying ‘blasphemous content’ was everywhere.
“Pakistan’s media regulator and other authorities should try to find some viable technical solution to such problems as blasphemous content is available everywhere,” he said.
“It is equal to a drop in the ocean of knowledge.”
However, three days after the site was censored, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif reinstated it.
In a statement written by his office, they deemed it ‘not a suitable measure to restrict access to some objectionable contents/sacrilegious matter on it.’
Prime Minister @CMShehbaz has directed that the Wikipedia website be restored with immediate effect. The Prime Minister has also constituted a Cabinet Committee on matters related to Wikipedia and other online content. pic.twitter.com/fgMj5sqTun— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) February 6, 2023
“The unintended consequences of this blanket ban, therefore, outweigh its benefits,” they added.
In October 2020, Pakistan blocked the social media platform TikTok for its ‘immoral, obscene and vulgar’ content, as per AA.
However, 10 days later, the ban was reversed by PTA after the Chinese sharing platform promised it would control its 'unlawful' content.
“As a result of continuous engagement, senior management of the platform assured PTA of its commitment to take necessary measures to control unlawful content in accordance with local laws and societal norms,” PTA said in a statement.
“PTA will continue to monitor the platform in order to ensure that unlawful content contrary to Pakistan’s law and societal values is not disseminated.”
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