Tue, 28 March 2023
The Daily Ittefaq

Pakistan blocks Wikipedia over ‘blasphemous content’

Update : 05 Feb 2023, 11:30

Wikipedia was blocked in Pakistan yesterday after authorities censored the website for hosting “blasphemous content” in the latest blow to digital rights in the deeply conservative nation.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, and social media giants Facebook and YouTube have previously been banned for publishing content deemed sacrilegious.

The online encyclopedia had been blocked across the country on Friday “after it failed to respond to our repeated correspondence over removal of the blasphemous content and meet the deadline”, a spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Malahat Obaid told AFP yesterday.

The PTA had earlier in the week given Wikipedia a 48 hour ultimatum to remove material, without publically specifying its exact objections.

“They did remove some of the material but not all,” Obaid said. “It will remain blocked until they remove all the objectionable material.”

An AFP reporter in Pakistan was not able to access the site from a mobile phone yesterday.

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