According to a statement released by the regulator, “PTA restricts Wikipedia services in the nation on account of not blocking/removing sacrilegious information.”
One Twitter user replied to a PTA message by saying, “With a little effort, you can ban the offensive articles yourself on Wikipedia instead of ruining the whole service.”
Someone other voiced their disapproval, saying, “Tragedy strikes when a whole library is burned down due to one disagreeable book.”
In accordance with the relevant legislation and the court’s decision, Wikipedia was contacted for the blocking/removal of the aforementioned material (s). According to the statement, the platform was given a chance to remove the blasphemous information as well as a hearing, but it did neither.
Wikipedia’s services have been intentionally impaired for 48 hours with the instruction to block/remove the reported material due to a malfunction on the part of the platform. Noncompliance will result in the local blocking of the service in Pakistan.
Users of social media and the internet in Pakistan are understandably nervous about what this ruling may signal for the future of free expression on the internet.
As another Twitter user put it, “Blocking access to Wikipedia is not the answer to restricting access to potentially dangerous or improper stuff online.”
It is more beneficial to teach people how to use technology safely and responsibly. He went on to say, “Limiting access to a site like Wikipedia, which offers access to large volumes of reputable material, hinders the free flow of knowledge and education.
On its official Twitter account, the PTA said that the online encyclopedia featured “sacrilegious” material that had been requested to be removed but was left in place.
Only if they take measures to prevent access to illegal material will their services be reinstated. However, PTA did not elaborate on what kinds of material it considers illegal.
The PTA has threatened a permanent ban on Wikipedia in Pakistan if the website does not delete or block the information as requested.
Press Release: PTA has degraded Wikipedia services in the country on account of not blocking / removing sacrilegious contents. pic.twitter.com/h6ZWuf8TnR
— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) February 1, 2023