Feb 2, 2023
Wikipedia Ordered to Remove ‘Blasphemous’ Content in Pakistan
(Bloomberg) -- Wikipedia will be blocked in Muslim-majority Pakistan if the platform fails to take down content deemed to be sacrilegious within 48 hours, the country’s telecoms regulator said.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday said it had “degraded” Wikipedia services on non-compliance of an earlier direction to remove “unlawful” content, according to a statement. While it did not elaborate on measures taken, some suggested the site had been throttled.
If the platform fails to remove the content in question, Wikipedia “will be blocked within Pakistan,” the authority said, without specifying the information it wanted removed.
“There is slowness and definitely it’ll impact especially those who use Wikipedia for education and information purposes,” Wahaj-us-Siraj, Chief Executive Officer of internet provider Nayatel, said in a text message.
Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistan, whose laws condone capital punishment for anyone convicted of affronting Islam.
Authorities have in the past taken action against various social media platforms for broadcasting content deemed blasphemous.
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