Micro-blogging and social networking site Twitter, has blocked access to ‘blasphemous’ content in Pakistan following requests from the country’s telecommunications authority. But by the looks of it, not everyone is with the government considering that advocacy organization Bolo Bhi thinks coaxing Twitter to have done the deed is not within the scope of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).
In a blog post, Pakistan’s Bolo Bhi notes that Twitter complied with the PTA’s appeal in a disturbingly speedy way, while comfortably snuggling in its Country Withheld Tool blanket. The aforesaid tool allows the site to block illegal content and remove or restrict accounts on the request of the government or law enforcement agencies of the nation in which such content is viewable.
With its latest move, Twitter is noted to have encouraged a dangerous trend of allowing authorities to limit censorship on the internet, as Facebook did previously. Chilling Effects Clearinghouse which gathers and analyzes legal complaints about online activity has revealed five requests made by the PTA asking for certain links to be blocked.
Twitter may have acted speedily since it’d rather comply with the Pakistani government’s directives disguised as requests than face a ban and lose its user base. After all, the country had cast what is unarguably the world’s most popular video sharing site, YouTube, out of the its internet realm and continues to keep it at bay.
Let’s not forget that Twitter got a scare a couple of days ago when Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats to banish it from the nation’s virtual spaces were followed by a short outage there. To our readers who follow Islam, how many of these complaints surfaced by Chilling Effects Clearinghouse do you find genuinely offensive?