Pakistan bans Wikipedia, after it refused to remove offensive content


The Pakistan bans Wikipedia due to the website`s refusal to remove allegedly offensive or blasphemy material. Earlier, the telecom regulator had degraded the portal`s services in the country, The News reported Saturday. 

When a PTA spokesperson  contacted late Friday night and inquired about the blocking of Wikipedia, the official confirmed that “yes” it had 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 News reported. 

The PTA spokesperson stated that Wikipedia  approached for blocking or removal of the said content by issuing a notice under applicable law and court order(s).

An opportunity for a hearing was also provided; however, the platform neither complied by removing the blasphemous content nor appeared before the authority.

Due to the platform’s intentional failure to comply with PTA directions, Wikipedia’s services  degraded for 48 hours, with the direction to block/remove the reported contents, according to The News.

In the event that Wikipedia fails to comply, the platform has blocked within Pakistan. If the reported illegal content blocked/removed, the restoration of Wikipedia’s services will reconsidered.

Usama Khilji, a digital rights activist, reacted to the news by criticising the authorities for blocking the information portal.

“Wikipedia, World`s largest encyclopaedia, appears to be blocked in Pakistan by @PTAofficialpk.”

The Bolobhi director said that the courts and regulator must realise that Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced platform where anyone with an account can edit articles, which they can also do instead of blocking the entire website, The News reported.





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