The recent suspension of a Twitter account belonging to journalist Asad Ali Toor has polarized social media with many pointing fingers at both the social media platform and the Pakistani State.
The suspension did not last long, however, the move concerned numerous users on Twitter, including some prominent journalists, who demanded to know the reason for the abrupt suspension.
Investigative journalist Waseem Abbasi tagged Twitter, asking the platform to restore Toor’s account. He added that Asad Ali Toor wasn’t given any warning before the suspension.
— Waseem Abbasi (@Wabbasi007) December 29, 2021
Another journalist and former chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Absar Alam also asked the platform to restore Toor’s account. He said Twitter had given no reason for the suspension and the move was akin to censorship on journalists.
Hello @Twitter you have suspended the Twitter account of a Pakistani journalist and a defender of human rights @AsadAToor without citing any reason. Why this censorship? Have you started suppressing freedoms? Please restore @AsadAToor account.
— Absar Alam (@AbsarAlamHaider) December 29, 2021
Later, Asad Ali Toor tweeted that his account had been restored and thanked his supporters for their support. He alleged that the social media platform may have been responding to a request by the ‘Pakistani State’ which reported him. Toor said Twitter did not find any breach of the community guidelines and suspended his account without any reason.
Thank you very much everybody for your support, @Twitter restores my account. Weeks ago Twitter emailed me that Pakistani State reported my account but in the same email they mentioned found nothing against their community guidelines but yesterday they suspended without reasoning
— Asad Ali Toor (@AsadAToor) December 30, 2021
However, the tweet drew skepticism from many users on Twitter with some asking for proof that Toor indeed received such an email or message from the platform. A user asked the journalist to share a screenshot of the message that mentioned the state.
Pakistani state? Seriously? Did they mention Pakistani state? Can you share the screenshot if possible please.
— Khuram Tabassom (@KhuramTabassom) December 30, 2021
Another user too was skeptical and asked Toor to share screenshots or any other proof he had for his claims.
Do share so people of can see the truth
— Abdul Hannan (@abhannaan) December 30, 2021
Meanwhile, some users voiced their support for Toor and congratulated him on getting his account back. Stand-up comedian Shehzad Ghias Shaikh pointed out that the “Big Tech” may be at fault in the situation.
Big tech is not your ally. https://t.co/HjypuyOBMr
— Shehzad Ghias Shaikh (@Shehzad89) December 30, 2021
Another voiced his support for the journalist saying that such ‘fascism’ will not continue for long.
— M (@minimalfuss_) December 30, 2021