Pakistan blocks Twitter for material 'offensive to Islam'
Sunday 20 May 2012
Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter on Sunday because it refused to remove material considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country's top telecommunications officials.
The material was promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favorable ones, as blasphemous.
Yaseen said Facebook agreed to address Pakistan's concerns about the competition, but officials have failed to get Twitter to do the same.
"We have been negotiating with them until last night, but they did not agree to remove the stuff, so we had to block it," said Yaseen.
Instructions to block the site came from Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology, said Yaseen.
"The ministry officials are still trying to make them (Twitter) agree, and once they remove that stuff, the site will be unblocked," said Yaseen.
Officials from Twitter and Facebook were not immediately available for comment.
A top court in Pakistan ordered a ban on Facebook in 2010 amid anger over a similar competition. The ban was lifted about two weeks later, after Facebook blocked the particular page in Pakistan.
The Pakistani government said at the time that it would continue to monitor other major websites for anti-Islamic links and content.
The 2010 Facebook controversy sparked a handful of protests across Pakistan, many by student members of radical Islamic groups. Some of the protesters carried signs advocating holy war against the website for allowing the page.
It also sparked a good deal of soul-searching, especially among commentators, who questioned why Pakistanis could not be entrusted to decide for themselves whether or not to look at a website. Some observers noted that Pakistan had gone further than several other Muslim countries by banning Facebook, and said it showed the rise of conservative Islam in the country.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 4 Jozef Wesołowski: Former Catholic archbishop found dead ahead of child sexual abuse trial
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...