Wikimedia Foundation Asks PTA to Unblock Wikipedia

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects following a dispute over sacrilegious content. The Wikimedia Foundation has demanded the immediate restoration of these services in the country.

PTA informed the foundation on February 1, 2023, that Wikipedia’s services have been degraded for 48 hours for failing to remove “unlawful” content as per the government’s orders.

The notification warned that a total block of Wikipedia may occur if the foundation doesn’t comply. As of February 3, Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are no longer accessible in Pakistan.

The Wikimedia Foundation says that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right. Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia, provides reliable information to millions of people and serves as a continuously expanding archive of history.

It offers individuals from diverse backgrounds the chance to enhance the world’s comprehension of their beliefs, culture, and heritage.

Pakistan sees over 50 million monthly views on English Wikipedia, with Urdu and Russian Wikipedias following close behind. The country boasts a dedicated community of editors who contribute significant amounts of historical and educational material.

Wikipedia’s block in Pakistan denies the fifth-largest nation access to the world’s largest repository of free knowledge. If it persists, it will also result in the loss of access to Pakistan’s history, culture, and knowledge for everyone.

Here is what the Wikipedia Foundation says:

We hope that the Pakistan government joins with the Wikimedia Foundation in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restores access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects promptly, so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world.    

  • Shame on pta that it only wants masses to know their version of facts. Disappointing and disgusting policies of governments to force people to read what they only want them to read

  • Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia of the world. They are non-profit organization. So banning Wikipedia will not hurt Wikipedia but it will hurt Pakistan (as our access to the world’s largest Encyclopedia is blocked now). Millions of Pakistanis will not be able to get access to a knowledge base. So whose loss it is?
    You dont burn the whole library just because one book in the library dont suits you. How we can explain this to retired duffers in PTA and their senior Baabus?

  • Everyone has to respect our dignity and values, hurting others norms is not knowledge nor fundamental human right, it is indeed not standard of humanity.

  • They could have banned the pages that had blasphemous content
    They could have a team to edit those pages and make them right; It is Wikipedia, after all

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