Home World Wikipedia ban in Pakistan over alleged blasphemous content material lifted | Censorship Information

Wikipedia ban in Pakistan over alleged blasphemous content material lifted | Censorship Information



‘Unintended penalties’ of a blanket ban ‘outweigh its advantages’, says the federal government after two days of blocking the web site.

Islamabad, Pakistan – A ban on Wikipedia has been lifted in Pakistan two days after it was imposed over alleged blasphemous content material.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday ordered the nation’s telecom regulator to revive the net encyclopaedia with “speedy impact”.

“Blocking the positioning in its entirety was not an appropriate measure to limit entry to some objectionable content material,” an announcement issued by Sharif’s workplace mentioned.

“The unintended penalties of this blanket ban, subsequently, outweigh its advantages.”

The assertion, shared on Twitter by Data Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, additionally mentioned a committee has been constituted by the federal government to overview the choice to ban the web site in addition to issues associated to “different on-line content material”.

The committee will discover and suggest various technical measures to cope with objectionable content material on Wikipedia or different on-line info websites, protecting in view the “social cultural and non secular sensitivities” of the nation, the place the difficulty of blasphemy stays a extremely contentious and delicate matter.

A minimum of 80 folks have been killed in Pakistan over blasphemy allegations since 1990, based on an Al Jazeera tally, together with relations of the accused, their legal professionals and at the very least one choose.

The Wikimedia Basis, which runs Wikipedia, welcomed Pakistan’s transfer to revive the web site.

“Lifting this ban signifies that the folks of Pakistan can proceed to learn from and take part in its development inside a world motion that strives to unfold and share data that’s verified, dependable and free,” it mentioned.

On February 1, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) introduced it was “degrading” entry to Wikipedia within the nation as a result of presence of “sacrilegious content material”, giving the web site 48 hours to take away them. It didn’t specify which content material it discovered sacrilegious.

Two days later, the PTA claimed there was no response from Wikipedia and blocked the web site, resulting in widespread condemnation and outrage within the nation.

In an announcement on February 4, the Wikimedia Basis mentioned the ban “denies the fifth most populous nation on the earth entry to the most important free data repository”.

“If it continues, it is going to additionally deprive everybody entry to Pakistan’s data, historical past, and tradition,” it mentioned.

The muse additionally mentioned it doesn’t make choices round what content material is included on Wikipedia or how that content material is maintained.

Pakistan has a historical past of blocking entry to main web sites, on-line video games and social media purposes.

YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing web site, was blocked for greater than three years within the nation between 2012 and 2016 resulting from content material thought of “blasphemous” by the PTA.

In 2020, Chinese language social media app TikTok was banned for almost six months for “spreading obscenity and immorality”.



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