Pakistan to block Wikipedia over non-removal of ‘sacrilegious content’

Pakistan is likely to block Wikipedia over the non-removal of ‘sacrilegious content’!

On Wednesday, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) “degraded” the services of the expansive online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, in the country claiming that the censorship was on “account of not blocking/removing sacrilegious contents”.

PTA has warned of blocking the site if it fails to comply with the directions.

The telecommunication authority in a statement said that it had approached and urged Wikipedia to block or remove “sacrilegious” contents by issuing a notice under applicable law and court order(s).

“An opportunity of hearing was also provided,” PTA stated, and added, “however, the platform neither complied by removing the blasphemous content nor appeared before the Authority.”

“As a result of the “intentional failure” on part of the platform to comply with PTA directions or to appear before it, its services were “degraded” throughout the country for 48 hours,” PTA notified.

Moreover, directions to block/remove the reported contents had also been given, it added.

“In the case of non-compliance by Wikipedia to remove the objectionable content, the platform will be blocked within Pakistan for a longer time.”

“Restoration of the services of Wikipedia will be reconsidered subject to blocking/removal of the reported unlawful contents. PTA is committed to ensuring a safe online experience for all Pakistani citizens according to local laws,” the statement asserted.

The PTA issued notices to tech giant Google and the online encyclopedia Wikipedia for disseminating “sacrilegious content” through the platforms in 2020.

It is pertinent to mention here that this won’t be the first time that the encyclopedia has been blocked in the country or in other countries.

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