Pakistan has recently taken a drastic measure: blocking access to Wikipedia services within the nation. The decision was made after the platform failed to remove content deemed “sacrilegious” by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Malahat Obaid, the spokesperson for the PTA, stated that the 48-hour deadline had expired and the content was still available on Wikipedia.
The PTA has a long history of censoring content deemed inappropriate or offensive. In the past, the PTA has blocked access to YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook for similar reasons. However, this is the first time that the PTA has blocked access to a major encyclopedia.
The PTA has stated that it will continue to monitor Wikipedia for any “sacrilegious” content. If the content is not removed within a reasonable amount of time, the PTA has stated that it will take further action. This could mean an indefinite ban on Wikipedia services in Pakistan.
This decision has been met with mixed reactions from the public. Some believe that the PTA is overstepping its bounds by censoring content. Others believe that the PTA is doing the right thing by protecting the religious sensibilities of the nation.
Regardless of one’s opinion, this is an unprecedented move by the PTA that could have long-lasting implications. It remains to be seen whether the PTA will be successful in its mission to remove “sacrilegious” content from Wikipedia. For now, Pakistanis will have to be content with not having access to the world’s largest online encyclopedia.