Did you know?: IMDb inaccessible in Pakistan

Published: November 21, 2013
IMDb is a prominent source of reliable news and box office reports on films, TV programs. PHOTO: FILE

IMDb is a prominent source of reliable news and box office reports on films, TV programs. PHOTO: FILE

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb), a widely used online entertainment news portal, has allegedly been banned in Pakistan.

Owned by Amazon.com, IMDb is a prominent source of reliable news and box office reports regarding films, television programmes and video games from all over the world. The portal is ranked number 7 on the “Top 10: Must-know Entertainment Websites” by askmen.com. With 4.7 million fans on its Facebook page and a massive 995,279 followers on Twitter, the website is widely viewed across the globe. Termed as “the world’s most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content” on the website, IMDb has a great following here in Pakistan, as well.

After a ban on YouTube that has lasted over a year, the restrictions on the access to IMDb come at a time when Pakistani films are gaining momentum and international recognition. While the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has not confirmed an official ban and any reasons for doing so are unknown, users in Pakistan remain unable to access it.

Tough luck, fellow Pakistani entertainment enthusiasts.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (65)

  • shah
    Nov 21, 2013 - 7:43PM

    This is insane. What is this obsession GoP has with banning ? They cannot build anything or solve any problems but they are very good at bans.


  • riz
    Nov 21, 2013 - 7:45PM

    what the heck is going on here? Hey NS, please ask your IT minister to control the extremist section in PTA or otherwise ban internet in Pakistan. Also open the YouTube, i want to see the recipe for Sisi-Paye.


  • sceptic
    Nov 21, 2013 - 7:54PM

    Yayyyyyy!! Let’s ban the whole world!Recommend

  • Jibran
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:00PM

    Who cares!


  • Dhiz
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:20PM

    Soon our government will implement internet restrictions just like the one’s in North Korea!


  • Dhiz
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:22PM

    Soon our government will implement even more internet restrictions as it is in North Korea.Recommend

  • FShah
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:27PM

    YEAH!!! thats what my witribe page said today for the imdb tab in mozilla. URGH is all what I got for you! PTA has some special problems which it is unable to diagnose ITSELF! Sites that need to be blocked have a free end whereas the ones that dont need to be are needless to say BANNED! How PATHETIC is that?? (uh – do we have a CAPS for question mark here?)


  • ugu
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:27PM

    ban internet and use camels and donkeys


  • Hammad N.
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:31PM

    After Youtube, this is a new low for PTA. It’s like saying, “That bulb is flickering, cut the power supply of the house”.


  • Raja
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:36PM

    We need reason for banning imdb or else tell me this isn’t a free country!
    The one who banned it, he must know! WE HATE YOU FROM HEART!!!!
    You should be ashamed of yourself! Bann Taliban’s videos, first, Bann all the porn sites.!


  • mrpak
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:38PM

    Childish behaviour on part of PTA. I am sure no one in PTA knows the positive aspects and benefits of youtube or imdb. All they think about is negative.

    Does the PTA know that if you hit someone over the head with a laptop, you can kill them. Ban LAPTOPS!!

    Bunch of unqualified sufarshis!Recommend

  • Sukena
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:41PM

    Ughhh!!! What were they thinking? It was the only reliable website I relied upon before deciding whether to watch a movie or tv series or not. I have seriously no clue what the PTA wishes to achieve with this ban? Except for more hatred for themselves.


  • FShah
    Nov 21, 2013 - 8:49PM

    YEAH!!!! thats exactly what the Wi-tribe page reloaded for the IMDB tab in my Mozilla today. URGH is all I got to say! PTA has some special problems which it is unable to diagnose ITSELF! Sites that need to be blocked have a free end in our country and the ones that dont need to be “NEEDLESS” to say are BANNED! How PATHETIC is that?? ( uh – is there a CAPS to the question mark ! )


  • Jibran
    Nov 21, 2013 - 9:01PM

    First thing first IMDb stands for International Movie Database second its not ban just go to WWW and browse it.


  • LaLakiMKaa
    Nov 21, 2013 - 9:10PM

    may be somebody came in revelations of pak govt and they banned……….


  • Mj
    Nov 21, 2013 - 9:14PM

    PTA has sunken to a new low.


  • Asad
    Nov 21, 2013 - 9:21PM

    People who care


  • Raja from Karachi
    Nov 21, 2013 - 9:29PM

    Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2013.????

    It is 21st by the way…. I am disappointed anyway. This website is very useful and I always check the ratings and read the reviews of movies before downloading / watching them. Very bad by PTA.


  • MS
    Nov 21, 2013 - 10:20PM

    I tried on my phone, and so far they have not been able to block the IMDb app for android phone, which unlike the youtube app is still working, but I would certainly miss the site.


  • Aaron Upright
    Nov 21, 2013 - 10:23PM

    I just checked it from Islamabad. It works fine, You really need to improve you rather pedestrian fact checking department.


  • Azeem
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:22PM

    PTA proves yet again that it is comprised of a jackass staff. If this order came from some government minister, well, we have a jackass government too. Welcome to the Banana Republic of Pakistan.


  • Raza
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:33PM

    A sincere request to PTA, please open youtube pleaaasseee i need to understand derivatives. i’m tired of using Hotspotshield and other proxies :/Recommend

  • Javaria
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:39PM

    someone please ban the government so that all the ‘real’ problems can be solved.Recommend

  • jibran-is-an-idiot
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:42PM

    try opening a link on imdb. just try.Recommend

  • hammad
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:44PM

    DNS issues

    accessible through ..

  • hammad
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:45PM

    dns issues,

    accessible through

  • Oh really?
    Nov 21, 2013 - 11:48PM

    someone at PTA must not agree with IMDbs rating of WAAR…..


  • Nov 22, 2013 - 12:10AM

    I hope they don’t ban my site. Shame on PTA for doing this! Thanks God for the VPN.


  • Zain
    Nov 22, 2013 - 12:28AM

    A new North Korea in the making.


  • Alina
    Nov 22, 2013 - 12:33AM

    when did PTA ever make sense? blocking youtube was also wrong decision, they should have blocked that blasphemous video but who burns a whole book due to one stupid chapter.. there were variety of educational channels which Pakistani students have no access to now,


  • B.
    Nov 22, 2013 - 12:37AM

    @Aaron Upright:
    Not opening up in Lahore. They have got their facts right on this one.


  • optimist
    Nov 22, 2013 - 12:41AM

    I think Pakistanis were voting for Lollywood films such as Khuda ke liye, Bol and Waar.
    PTA didn’t like people supporting their own film industry. Maybe Indians and Israelis will give favourable reviews to things made in Pakistan!!!


  • Asif Butt
    Nov 22, 2013 - 1:44AM

    And the next LOGICAL step will be to ban GOOGLE and all other search engines.

    Pakistan is run by genius politicians , as always …


  • lahori
    Nov 22, 2013 - 1:57AM

    Thank you


  • Baloch
    Nov 22, 2013 - 2:49AM

    This ban hardly affects anyone in pakistan coz today even small kids know how to open youtube and IMDB etc…PTA is just doing time pass


  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    Nov 22, 2013 - 2:56AM

    Did the government think IMDB = Indian Movie Database?


  • Usman Masood
    Nov 22, 2013 - 8:05AM

    Its working now…
    I don’t think the PTA made any statements about this…


  • ovaid
    Nov 22, 2013 - 10:21AM

    to ban imdb is such an cowardly act made by the government or concerned authorities. youtube is also ban sincs last year now the best second option after youtube to get accesss of latest movies and so much more is no more avaliable. Why such acts are adopting by this government and why they not give any profound reason before doing such acts. Shame on government or those concerned authorities who gave such advises to givernment officials!


  • Nov 22, 2013 - 11:54AM

    Its working.


  • Nov 22, 2013 - 12:49PM

    I dont understand why everyones acting so surprised. Guys, please dont, when internet will be banned too. The day is coming…Recommend

  • Khizer Jalal
    Nov 22, 2013 - 2:03PM

    Its 1902 already!!! Time flies!


  • Magneto
    Nov 22, 2013 - 2:07PM

    Visited last night!! Was working perfectly


  • John
    Nov 22, 2013 - 3:45PM

    Pakistan continuing its fast march… backwards. Technologically, socially and economically.Recommend

  • Haider
    Nov 22, 2013 - 3:57PM

    And i was thinking that IT manager of my office has banned it..


  • Haider
    Nov 22, 2013 - 4:02PM

    Search top 250 movies and you can open IMDB link.


  • Javeria Mahmood
    Nov 22, 2013 - 4:13PM

    No Way…. what made the GoP ban this website?


  • waqar
    Nov 22, 2013 - 4:51PM

    any body thinking of banning PTA :P~


  • Nishant
    Nov 22, 2013 - 4:55PM

    What is going on ?
    it is just an encyclopedia of films of every country in the world including your own, what is anti social and anti culture about it?
    Who comes up with this ?
    i guess the same guy who decided to block youtube and not the bad video.
    ban the tv
    turn every cinema hall into a madarsa or mosque
    burn all the books that teach anything other than islam
    so you will have a society full of clerics and priests but no doctors, engineers or teachers


  • Junaid
    Nov 22, 2013 - 5:01PM

    said is placed for 3 reasons: “anti-state”, “anti-religion”, “anti-social”

    Are they high? There needs to be greater transparency with this internet blocking, it’s just happening without anyone noticing. There are hundreds of pages on wikipedia that are blocked, including the pages about Khameni and Khomeni. There are some pages about resolution modules (tech related) that are blocked.


  • Nov 22, 2013 - 5:07PM

    I guess there is no internet connection for locals


  • islooboy
    Nov 22, 2013 - 5:52PM

    i didnt notice because i use linux with fire fox and torRecommend

  • islooboy
    Nov 22, 2013 - 5:53PM

    only windows SIMPLETONS are affected by this banRecommend

  • islooboy
    Nov 22, 2013 - 5:54PM

    i use tor anyway you should tooRecommend

  • islooboy
    Nov 22, 2013 - 5:55PM

    download pirate bay browser in windy nose and accss any web site you want offcourse if you want a true os try linuxRecommend

  • Zeeshan
    Nov 22, 2013 - 6:18PM

    I’m sure those thugs in GoP don’t really know what does it mean by “anti-state”, “anti-religion”, “anti-social”.


  • Mutee
    Nov 22, 2013 - 6:30PM

    People who are able to access IMDB, the reason is your ISP is being lazy.
    People who can’t access it: Its a DNS based ban, you can easily get past it by using a different DNS.

    Whatever feeble excuse the government has for banning the site, the ban is going to potentially impact our reviving film industry and set a path for future bans on websites every time some delinquent authority figure decides to show his power. Can someone with legal knowledge enlighten us how we can squeeze further information from PTA/Government? The reasons given are vague and require clarity.


  • oton
    Nov 22, 2013 - 7:10PM

    hmm. . Unfortunately we ban everything except #terrorism #hatred #intolerance #violence #malevolence #bigotry


  • Atheist_Pakistani
    Nov 22, 2013 - 7:28PM

    Very good! Why are you people against it? This is an ISLAMIC nation! Do not endorse KAFFIR lifestyle and ways, follow the Quranic teaching because that is only matters. We as Muslims endorse the ideology. We Die to live! The afterlife the real life! I would like to congratulate PTA for this move.


  • AZ
    Nov 22, 2013 - 8:00PM

    PTA has a kid that has a one very strong arm muscles and lots of pimples and he decides what get banned and what goes through. Hint Hint: is it related with Russel Crowe’s NOAH?


  • Nov 22, 2013 - 8:18PM

    I was the first one to publish this news :DRecommend

    Nov 22, 2013 - 9:28PM

    I personally think that the reason imdb was blocked is due to the movie “the line of freedom”, which is a true story of a Baloch student abducted by the security and intelligence agencies of our country!! Our people are not aware of the truth, we are in a very messed up situation


  • Ahmed Afridi
    Nov 23, 2013 - 5:04AM

    It is working perfectly and idiots are cursing without knowing the fact that it was a technical issue, when we will grow up and stop criticizing? Moreover even if its blocked than even a kid knows that all the blocked site can be accessed by installing a simple software which hides your ip address.


  • Giri
    Nov 23, 2013 - 6:52AM

    WAAR movie has excellent reviews with almost 10 rating from the first time registered users on IMDb. Good way to pump up a movie, but why is this banned?


  • Muhammad Saadullah
    Nov 23, 2013 - 2:31PM

    it is not ban i can access it ….


  • Ahmad Mirza
    Nov 23, 2013 - 3:06PM

    Pakistanis always find a work around and never stand up to the right cause. Using VPN will solve your problem but then if that is blocked as well? then what? do you know that IP’s which are using VPN frequently are banned by PTA? Those IP addresses are blocked and then ISP is questioned over them. So, sooner or later it will stop working as well . . . . then what would you do ?


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