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PTA blocks Wikipedia over blasphemous content

PTA blocked Wikipedia services in Pakistan after their refusal to withdraw blasphemous content

By Our Correspondent
February 04, 2023
PTA blocks Wikipedia over blasphemous content. Wikipedia website.
PTA blocks Wikipedia over blasphemous content. Wikipedia website.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) blocked Wikipedia services in Pakistan on Friday after their refusal to withdraw blasphemous content.

Earlier, the Authority had degraded its services in the country.

When this reporter contacted PTA spokesperson late on Friday night and inquired about blocking of Wikipedia, she confirmed that “yes” it had been blocked.

On the instruction of the high court, the PTA degraded — disrupting and slowing access to the encyclopedia — website for 48 hours because there was blasphemous content on it.

The PTA spokesperson stated that Wikipedia was approached for blocking/removal of the said content by issuing a notice under applicable law and 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.

Given the intentional failure on part of the platform to comply with the directions of PTA, the services of Wikipedia were degraded for 48 hours with the direction to block/remove the reported contents.

In case of non-compliance by Wikipedia, the platform has been blocked within Pakistan.

The restoration of the services of Wikipedia will be reconsidered subject to blocking/removal of the reported unlawful contents.

PTA is committed to ensuring a safe online experience for all Pakistani citizens according to local laws.