Wikipedia Is Under Danger From Pakistan Due To “Blasphemous Material.”
Pakistan has issued the latest censorship warning in the very conservative nation, threatening to ban Wikipedia if “blasphemous information” is not removed by Friday.
Social media behemoths Facebook and YouTube have already been restricted due to material considered blasphemous, a very sensitive subject in Pakistan, a country with a Muslim majority.
Without going into detail about the offending material, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said on Wednesday that the website has until late Friday to heed the warning.
The free online encyclopedia, which receives billions of visits each month, would be “degraded” in the meantime, interrupting and reducing access to it.
The warning said that Wikipedia’s services had been reduced for 48 hours with the instruction to ban or erase the reported items “given the platform’s purposeful refusal to comply with the orders of PTA.”
If Wikipedia doesn’t comply, the portal will be banned within Pakistan.
Some of the website’s pages have previously been subject to limitations.
Advocates for free expression have long criticized what they see as a sluggish government censorship and control of the internet, printed media, and electronic media in Pakistan.
Digital rights campaigner Usama Khilji called the restriction “disproportionate, unlawful, and frankly ludicrous.”
Due of the unpredictability and arbitrary nature of the censoring, he said, “this will have an effect on students, academics, the healthcare industry, researchers, and lower investor confidence in Pakistan.”
An inquiry for comment from AFP did not get a response right away from Wikipedia.
In response to a movie against the Prophet Mohammed that sparked violent demonstrations around the Muslim world, Pakistan prohibited YouTube from 2012 until 2016.
The nation has also repeatedly blacklisted the hugely popular video-sharing app TikTok in recent years due to its “indecent” and “immoral” content.