PTA degrades Wikipedia services for not blocking 'sacrilegious content'

Platform will be blocked within Pakistan in case of non-compliance, authority warns

News Desk February 01, 2023
PTA warns that in case of non-compliance by Wikipedia the platform will be blocked within Pakistan. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday degraded Wikipedia services in the country on account of not blocking/removing "sacrilegious content".

"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," it said in a statement.

Given the intentional failure on part of the platform to comply with the directions of PTA, the statement said, the services of Wikipedia have been degraded for 48 hours with the direction to block/remove the reported contents.

Read more: PTA issues notices to Google, Wikipedia over sacrilegious content

PTI warned that in case of non-compliance by Wikipedia the platform will be blocked within Pakistan.

"The restoration of the services of Wikipedia will be reconsidered subject to blocking/removal of the reported unlawful contents. PTA is committed to ensuring a safe online experience for all Pakistani citizens according to local laws," it further said.

This is not the first time the authority has taken notice of objectionable content on Wikipedia. In December 2020, PTA had issued notices to Google and Wikipedia on account of disseminating sacrilegious content through the platforms.

PTA said it has been receiving complaints regarding misleading search results associated with “Present Khalifa of Islam” and unauthentic version of Holy Quran on Google Play Store.


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