Tech and Telecom

X Has Been Blocked Due to “Illegal Content”: Govt Sources

In a significant development, it has been revealed that X (formerly Twitter) has been blocked in Pakistan due to its failure to comply with local regulations.

Sources in the government told ProPakistani that X (formerly Twitter) did not adequately address the presence of illegal content, with only a fraction of flagged material being blocked.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had reportedly forwarded over 67,000 links to Twitter for blocking, but the platform only acted upon some of them. Furthermore, Twitter’s response to content deemed blasphemous was deemed insufficient by authorities.

This move follows repeated warnings to Twitter to adhere to Pakistani laws, with specific instructions to block content violating regulations.

PTA had already submitted a report to the Ministry of Information Technology regarding Twitter’s non-compliance, recommending strict measures including platform suspension and substantial fines.

The prolonged disruption of social media platform X in Pakistan has surpassed the ten-day mark, raising significant questions about the country’s access to digital communication and freedom of expression. X, which was blocked on February 17th, continues to remain inaccessible to users across Pakistan as of February 27th.

Amidst the disruption, social media users in Pakistan have turned to Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) as a workaround to access X (Twitter). However, reports have emerged suggesting that government measures to block VPNs are impeding users’ ability to bypass the restrictions, intensifying frustrations among the online community.

The initial block on Twitter in Pakistan was prompted by allegations of electoral irregularities made by the former chief commissioner of Rawalpindi, Liaquat Ali Chatta, following the general elections held on February 8th.

In a bid to address the issue, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued directives last Thursday, urging authorities to restore access to social media platform X and ensure uninterrupted service nationwide.

However, despite the court’s orders, implementation remains elusive, prolonging the period of restricted access for users and exacerbating concerns regarding digital rights.

Published by
Jehangir Nasir