Home / News / World /  Pakistan blocks Wikipedia over ‘blasphemous’ content: Report

Following Wikipedia's refusal to remove inflammatory or blasphemous content, Pakistan has blocked the popular website, according to a media report on February 4. After degrading Wikipedia services for 48 hours and threatening to block it if the content believed to be "blasphemous" was not removed, the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) has now blacklisted Wikipedia.

The Wikimedia Foundation hosts Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia that is written and maintained by volunteers from all around the world.

A PTA spokeswoman was approached late on the blocking of Wikipedia, and the official responded "yes", according to the report. Because the encyclopaedia website had offensive material, the PTA degraded it for 48 hours at the high court's request, halting and slowing access to it.

Also Read: Not in India, it happened in Pakistan: Defense Minister says on worshippers killed during prayers

Wikipedia, according to the PTA spokeswoman, was contacted to prohibit or remove the aforementioned content by sending out a notification. There was also a chance for a hearing, but neither the platform obliged by removing the offensive material nor did it show up in front of the authorities.

Wikipedia's services were reduced for 48 hours with the instruction to ban or remove the reported items due to the platform's willful disregard for the PTA's directives.

Also Read: First time in 12 years, India invites Pakistan's foreign minister for SCO meet

The spokesman states that, if the alleged illegal content is blocked or removed, the restoration of Wikipedia's services will be reevaluated. Due to content deemed heretical, social media giants Facebook and YouTube have previously been restricted.

Wikimedia requests PTA to restore access

Meanwhile, The Wikimedia Foundation has urged PTA to restore access to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. "On Friday, February 3, 2023, Pakistan's Telecommunications Authority blocked Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. The Wikimedia Foundation calls on Pakistan to revoke the ban," an official release from the Wikimedia Foundation said.

"A block of @Wikipedia in Pakistan denies the 5th most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository. If it continues, it will also deprive everyone access to Pakistan's history and culture," tweeted The Foundation.

Access to knowledge is a human right, the Wikimedia Foundation said.

(With ANI inputs)

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Recommended For You
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout