Twitter alert: 'Tweetshedding' in Pakistan

Published: May 20, 2012
From the same country where the ban was imposed, a new trend was born in protest of the government's action. PHOTO:FILE

From the same country where the ban was imposed, a new trend was born in protest of the government's action. PHOTO:FILE

Twitter has been temporarily banned across Pakistan by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Sunday, after the micro-blogging website refused a request by the local government to stop a discussion on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), which was considered derogatory. 

Ironically, #TwitterBan started trending across Pakistan soon after the ban was exposed.

 Top tweets 

Taha Siddiqui @TahaSSiddiqui

#TwitterBan by Info Ministry. We can’t even blame the judiciary or the intelligence/military for this – This is our DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENT!

madeeha syed @madeehasyed

We accessed blogs during blogger ban, Facbeook during Facebook ban, YouTube during YouTube ban… what makes this #TwitterBan so special?

Shoaib Taimur @shobz

I think that the guy behind Millat Facebook will come up with millat twitter: a place for sweet Muslims. #TwitterBan

We live in a nation of hypocrites. acid crime, violence against women, minorities, corruption and yet we only tackle blasphemy. #twitterban

Farieha Aziz @FariehaAziz

Same arguments being rehashed by government officials as at the time of the Facebook ban in 2010 #TwitterBan

Hina @hinstance

Tweets from a country where the government bans Twitter are engrossing. I find the defiance absolutely delightful! #Pakistan #TwitterBan

Kashif Aziz @kashaziz

Dear PTA, please ban Facebook too or we will accuse you of taking bribes from Mr. Zuckerberg. #Twitterban #Pakistan

Mirza Waheed @MirzaWaheed

In other news, Pakistan authorities have so far ruled out banning fax machines. #TwitterBan

Azeem Dada @azeemdada

#twitterban okay these guys need to go. How i dont know and dont care but enough and enough

sid @sidrah_a

Well done Pakistan, continue to piss off the awaam. #twitterban

Rai M. Azlan Shahid @Rai_Azlan

What will I tell to the people at work the reason of #TwitterBan when many of them unable to understand. Thank you PTA!

S® @Sab33na

RT @FaisalRahat: The irony of twitter being banned in Pakistan and Pak’s number 1 trend is #TwitterBan. Thumbs up to the Paki twitterati! :)

Ali Shah @duplexraid

The revolution will not be Tweeted!! TweetShedding is here boys!!#TwitterBan #Pakistan

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Reader Comments (23)

  • aliza awais
    May 20, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Pakistan is a country still stuck in the darkness of ignorance..Recommend

  • Fahad Azam
    May 20, 2012 - 5:14PM

    if important ministries such as IT ministry are given to ignorant and corrupt people like Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, things like these are bound to happen … this ministry was once run by Ata ur Rehman and now is being run by Raja Ashraf … this comparison alone is enough to understand and imagine the depths of ignorance and darkness we have fallen into and the height of plight of this nation …


  • Raheel
    May 20, 2012 - 5:59PM

    I am not even sure that these tweets are from Muslims in Pakistan.
    After Pakistan took such a stand twitter will be forced to stop these tweets (they are earning millions by users of pakistan), you people can’t even stop using twitter for some days for your Prophet
    Or you are in modern age it does not even matter to you that people are making fun of your Prophet kindly remove the label of muslim from your selves
    You are simple Hippocrates…


  • Sharjeel
    May 20, 2012 - 6:00PM

    they have blocked it because of the increasing mahajir province support and people were abusing the PPP ministers on twitter. There is no blasphemous content on twitter, I am using it right now. Just using religion once again for their personal gains, as always. in case you are wondering, im not with any of the political parties.


  • Hassan Bin Fahim
    May 20, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Why is our media so biased ? Majority of people on facebook are supporting this ban yet you only post those tweets that are against it ?


  • Osama
    May 20, 2012 - 6:33PM

    perhaps this ban will be lifted after the NATO conference and Mr. Sadr Sahab returns home.


  • May 20, 2012 - 6:34PM

    How incompetent would you call a government that cant even ban a website properly :P ?Recommend

  • Big Rizvi
    May 20, 2012 - 6:45PM

    Still stuck in the dark ages are we? And we refuse to come out of it. Welcome to Denialistan.


  • Muhammad Ayaz
    May 20, 2012 - 6:49PM

    i am very thankful to PTA n government that it has blocked twitter i love to use to twitter but my love for the the holy PROPHET PEACE BE UPON HIM is much more than theses social networks even more than anything

    Media plz provide us news not your views which are baised


  • Raheel Arif
    May 20, 2012 - 6:54PM

    @Big Rizvi
    Forcing twitter to remove that kind of tweets is called DARK AGE in your dictionary then we are happy to be in dark age
    Remember why facebook agreed to remove those pages this time,because they know that when Pakistan IT ministry says that they will ban website, they are actually serious about it.
    And after such kind of ban twitter will also learn the lesson
    You people never appreciate a good step by our government
    And we should be proud that this time its PAKISTAN who forced facebook to remove pages not any other Muslim country


  • May 20, 2012 - 7:02PM

    @Muhammad Ayaz: The problem here is that your love for our Prophet (PBUH) is preventing you from praising him in response to the supposed blasphemies. It’s also preventing people in Pakistan from promoting Islam.

    So, is this a ban on Twitter? Or a ban on da’wah?


  • May 20, 2012 - 7:16PM

    @Raheel Arif: Unfortunately, Raheel, the pages are on Facebook, and can be accessed if you’re outside Pakistan (or if you use a proxy). The pages and events have NOT been removed from Facebook. You can confirm this yourself by performing a Google search; the events are public.

    Pakistan’s supposed pressure on Facebook has only had the effect of hiding the content from Pakistani users, not forcing Facebook to remove anything. Do you feel better off now, now that you know that people are talking about our Prophet (PBUH) behind our backs AND thanks to our government, we can’t even visit the pages to report the posts?


  • Raheel Arif
    May 20, 2012 - 7:26PM

    @Faried Nawaz
    The tweets shown in this articles show how much people want to praise Prophet SAW in response of blasphemies
    These people are only crying to remove ban, none of these tweets show their love to Prophet
    Nowadays people only use excuse that da’wah will stop if they stop using these websites, well you can preach using thousands of other websites
    and beleive me Jews(twitter owners) have some intelligence they know that if they will not remove that content they are in loss due to the stand taken by Pakistan and they will remove that content due to this big step of Pak government and ban will be lifted
    So whats the big deal if you can live without twitter for few days for love of your religion


  • Raheel Arif
    May 20, 2012 - 7:37PM

    @Faried Nawaz
    I will search about this, according to my info facebook was going to remove completely those pages
    And only this thing make sense, if PTA want to hide content in Pakistan they can do it by themselves as the did for websites having adult content and they don’t need to contact facebook for this


  • great
    May 20, 2012 - 8:57PM

    We are little children. I think we should listen to criticism of all our cherished beliefs just as all other people do.Recommend

  • Raheel Arif
    May 20, 2012 - 9:14PM

    @great there is difference b/w criticism and mocking……


  • Big Rizvi
    May 20, 2012 - 9:55PM

    @Raheel Arif: Call me a pessimist, but I highly doubt that our goal will come to fruition, well are alone in this matter and not even Saudi Arabia is doing something about it. Ban the blasphemous content but not the whole website. It seems reckless.Recommend

  • May 21, 2012 - 12:18AM

    @Raheel Arif: you wrote “and beleive me Jews(twitter owners) have some intelligence they know that if they will not remove that content they are in loss due to the stand taken by Pakistan and they will remove that content due to this big step of Pak government and ban will be lifted

    Do you know who owns how much of Twitter? Can you name the Jews, and their percentage of Twitter’s ownership? No — but by stating what you did, you show that you’re not motivated by facts.

    Secondly, Twitter loses next to no users if Pakistan blocks them. India, which has a much larger population online, accounts for barely 2% of Twitter’s userbase, and is the 20th in the top 20 list of Twitter users.

    So whats the big deal if you can live without twitter for few days for love of your religion

    It has nothing to do with my religion. Like I pointed out with the Facebook case, blocking the site or coming to an “agreement” with them to hide some content from Pakistani users doesn’t do a thing to stop blasphemy. It has more to do with pacifying people like you.


  • shobz
    May 21, 2012 - 3:33AM

    ummm. does anyone here realize that a Saudi prince has a stake in Twitter? he ain’t Jewish. He is a Muslim.


  • May 21, 2012 - 8:01AM

    Pakistan is just falling into the trend in most Islamic Countries where Freedom of Expression is non-existent. Why should be surprising? Its not the first time Pakistan has followed the Islamic path, is it?


  • Lord J
    May 21, 2012 - 9:40AM

    ^^ @shobz: Saudi aint authority on Islam. though this is not related but to verify my statement, you can easily find fotos and videos of hard drinks being served to G.W Bush when he visited Saudia Arabia, so much for the beacon of todays Islam.

    besides this whole ban thing is just a shameful attempt to avoid the criticism tht PPP govt is exposed to from Pakistani twitterati, using the Blasphemy charge for cover.


  • Mangoman
    May 21, 2012 - 11:38AM

    Well, its quite a nepotism. ET always publish their friends tweets :( Me sad


  • Atif
    May 26, 2012 - 8:41PM

    Will tribune publish this, the other side of the coin?

    I think the sad thing is slowly so-called muslim liberal elite is not only getting used to idea of blasphemy but working hard to make the rest of us accept it too. Even if you are not to standup for your identity and religion what about making multinationals respect the law of the land?

    I have a lot of respect for those people who fight such sadistic mindset like the guys who made Millatfacebook It’s now 2 years and they have several lacs of users too. but this is not even the point the point is to stand for your identity laws and what is right.


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