Pakistan blocks Wikipedia for blasphemy
The free online encyclopaedia was given a 48-hour deadline to remove some content before the move was publicized on Saturday.
Wikipedia allegedly disregarded the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) ultimatum.
According to the Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, Pakistanis will not be able to access “the largest free knowledge resource” as a result of the restriction.
In Pakistan, blasphemy is a contentious and highly sensitive topic. In the Muslim-majority nation, other platforms like Tinder, Facebook, and YouTube were also restricted.
Speaking on behalf of the PTA, Malahat Obaid claimed that despite “repeated correspondence” for the removal of “blasphemous content,” Wikipedia had not responded. He went on to say that “part of the material” had been removed, but not all of it, and that the website would continue to be blocked until “all the offensive stuff” was taken down.
There has been no disclosure of the specifics of the material under question.
If the restriction persisted, “everyone would lose access to Pakistan’s knowledge, history, and culture,” according to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Concerns over the move were expressed by proponents of free speech who claimed that there appeared to be “a systematic effort to establish greater control over content on the internet.”
Usama Khilji, a proponent of digital rights, argued that the major objective was to quiet any opposition. Blasphemy is frequently used for that reason, he continued.
YouTube was restricted in Pakistan in 2010 due to its “increasing sacrilegious material.” Following a dispute over an internet campaign encouraging people to draw pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, Facebook was disabled in 2010. Tinder and Grindr were among the dating apps that had their use of “immoral content” previously banned.
People in Pakistan diverge on the decision of PTA as Pakistan blocks Wikipedia for blasphemy