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Twitter might be banned in Pakistan

Popular social media blogging site Twitter is expected to be banned in Pakistan shortly, reported DAWN – Pakistan’s oldest newspaper.

The online news portal of DAWN reported that the Pak­istan Telecommuni­cation Authority (PTA) informed the Senate Standing Com­mittee on Cabinet Secre­tariat that while Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms complied with requests from the government to block objectionable content, Twitter did not oblige

“Out of a hundred requests from Pakistan to block certain offensive material, roughly five per cent are entertained. Twitter ignores all the remaining requests,” Director General of PTA’s Internet Policy and Web Analysis, Nisar Ahmed, told the committee.

The committee met for a briefing on penalties fixed by the PTA against ‘derogatory’ comments spreading through social media targeting the state, its citizens and its institutions.

Ahmed informed the committee about last week’s Islamabad High Court (IHC) directive to the regulatory body to serve Twitter with a final notice, asking the website to respond to requests from Pakistan or face the risk of being blocked in the country.

“The PTA has conveyed the court’s concern to Twitter, but has not got a response. The regulatory authority will implement court orders if Twitter does not respond to the final notice,” said Mr Ahmed. He further explained to the committee members that the IHC had taken notice of the increase in objectionable content posted on social media websites.

The official told the committee that Twitter was not as popular in Pakistan as Facebook, and so they had little to lose if Twitter was blocked. However, the platform would lose business if it was shut down in the country, the senior official told the members. “The court is determined to teach Twitter a lesson — they will lose business,” he added.

He informed the committee that Facebook had been extremely cooperative with Pakistan, and had obliged when asked to block content that might be perceived offensive.

Savio Rodrigues

Savio Rodrigues Founder & Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle.com

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