Islamabad (Web Desk): The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday blocked Wikipedia services in the country after the encyclopedia giant failed to block or remove blasphemous content.
On February 1, the PTA degraded Wikipedia services countrywide for not complying with the directives for the removal of controversial content from the website.
According to PTA spokesperson, the website had neither responded to its requests, nor taken down the content in question.
"The restoration of Wikipedia's services will be reconsidered if the reported unlawful content is blocked/removed," the spokesperson said.
Wikipedia was approached for blocking/removal of the said contents by issuing a notice under applicable law & court order(s). An opportunity of hearing was also provided, however, the platform neither complied by removing the blasphemous content nor appeared before the Authority. pic.twitter.com/6dWRcbxHGB— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) February 1, 2023
As per a statement from the Wikimedia Foundation, "On 1 February, we received a notification from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stating “the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours” for failure to remove content deemed “unlawful.” As of 3 February, our data shows this has extended into a full block".
The statement said that a block of the platform in Pakistan would deny the fifth most populous nation in the world access to the "largest free knowledge repository" and would "deprive everyone access to Pakistan's history and culture".
It hoped that the government of Pakistan joined it in a commitment to knowledge as a human right and restore access to Wikipedia promptly "so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share knowledge with the world".
"We believe that access to knowledge is a human right," the statement by the Wikimedia Foundation added.
Wikipedia has been blocked in Pakistan.
Today, Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority blocked @Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in the country.
Follow the thread for more information ????⬇️ (1/4)https://t.co/8xM73if9B2— Wikimedia Foundation (@Wikimedia) February 4, 2023