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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

PTA degrades Wikipedia in Pakistan for 48 hours

The move has sparked debate on social media. Netizens have expressed concern about the service degrading of Wikipedia in Pakistan. They believe the move will hamper the future of online freedom in Pakistan.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked the popular website ‘Wikipedia’ in Pakistan. The website has been blocked for 48 hours in Pakistan for failing to comply with the request for the removal of blasphemous content.

“PTA has degraded Wikipedia services in the country on account of not blocking/ removing sacrilegious contents,” the authority issued in a statement.

Wikipedia was approached for blocking/removal of the said content by issuing a notice under the applicable law and court orders. The platform was provided with an opportunity for a hearing; the platform failed to comply by removing the blasphemous content and also did not appear before the authority, to read the statement.

Hence, PTA degraded the service of Wikipedia for 48 hours in the country. The platform has again been instructed to remove/block objectionable content. In case of non-compliance, the website will be blocked in Pakistan.

The move has sparked debate on social media. Netizens have expressed concern about the service degrading of Wikipedia in Pakistan. They believe the move will hamper the future of online freedom in Pakistan.

Read more: SHC orders FIA, PTA to remove objectionable content on Kubra Khan

“Blocking access to Wikipedia is not the solution to limiting access to potentially harmful or inappropriate content online,” replied another Twitter user.

“Instead, promoting digital literacy and encouraging responsible online behavior is a more effective approach. Restricting access to a platform like Wikipedia, which provides access to vast amounts of credible information, limits the free flow of information and education,” he added.

“PTA officials are mad. Stop acting like SHOs and don’t block international sites like Wikipedia,” said Economist Yousuf Nazar.

“This is what a terrible govt agency looks like. Blocking YouTube, Wikipedia, etc. Living on a different,” said another Twitter.

Social media users recalled how PTA had once blocked the popular video streaming platform, YouTube in Pakistan. Meanwhile, PTA is regularly taking action against the objectionable content uploaded on TikTok.