Pakistan has blocked the popular social networking website Twitter on Sunday in a bid to contain blasphemous material.
The blockade came hours after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed Internet service providers to stop access to Twitter indefinitely on Sunday “because Twitter refused to remove material related to a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)”.
Facebook agreed to deal with Pakistan’s concerns but officials have not been able to get Twitter to do the same, said the chairman of the PTA.
“This has been done under the directions of the Ministry of Information Technology. It’s because of blasphemous content,” said Mohammed Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
However, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik yesterday tweeted the following message on the issue:
Dear all, I assure u that Twitter and FB will continue in our country and it will not be blocked. Pl do not believe in rumors.
This is not the first time that a social networking website has been blocked in the country, Facebook faced a similar kind of ban that lasted for 2 weeks in 2010.
After hours of Twitter being blocked, people in Pakistan are still able to access the social networking website through different web apps like “Hootsuite” and also via Twitter for mobile.