PTA blocks Wikipedia in Pakistan

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PTA blocks Wikipedia in Pakistan

Wikipedia was shut down countrywide on Saturday by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for failing to remove or filter “sacrilegious information.”

To restrict or delete the alleged content, the PTA downgraded Wikipedia on Wednesday for 48 hours.

Wikipedia is a nonprofit organization run by the Wikimedia Foundation, which released the following statement on Friday: “On February 1, we received a notification from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stating ‘the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours’ for failure to remove content deemed ‘unlawful’. Our data as of February 3 indicate that this has grown into a full block.

The platform would be blocked in Pakistan, the world’s fifth most populated country, barring it from accessing the “biggest free information library,” it stated.

Wikipedia will “deprive everyone access to Pakistan’s history and culture,” it was further stated.

It hoped that Pakistan’s government would quickly reopen Wikipedia access “so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world” and join it in a commitment to knowledge as a human right.

The statement continued, “We think that access to knowledge is a human right.

The authorities had earlier issued a warning to Wikipedia, stating that failure to heed its requests to remove the “sacrilegious content” would result in the online encyclopedia being blocked in Pakistan.

“By issuing a notification under applicable law & court order, Wikipedia was contacted for blocking/removal of the aforementioned contents” (s). The platform was also given a chance to be heard but failed to do so by removing the offensive material or showing up in front of the authority, according to a previous statement from the PTA.

“Wikipedia service restoration will be given another look if the allegedly illegal content is blocked or removed. According to regional laws, PTA is dedicated to providing all Pakistani people with a secure internet experience.

Wikipedia is an open-source, editable, and free online encyclopedia.

Millions of people all over the world frequently utilize it as a starting place for basic information.

When attempting to visit the website, users in Pakistan encounter “this site cannot be reached.”

It’s not the first time the institution has taken note of offensive material on Wikipedia. Due to the sites’ use of “sacrilegious content,” Google Inc. and Wikipedia received notifications from the PTA in December 2020.

From 2012 to 2016, YouTube was restricted in Pakistan. The nation has also frequently restricted the video-sharing app TikTok in recent years due to its “indecent” and “immoral” content.

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