Sacrilegious content removal, Pakistan degrades Wikipedia for 48 hours

Platform was given chance to be heard but failed, PTA statement

Wikipedia services in Pakistan were degraded for 48 hours as a result of not blocking/removing sacrilegious information, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said.

The telecom regulator said in a statement that it had contacted Wikipedia to request that the offending content be blocked or removed by filing a notification under relevant legislation and court order(s).

The platform was given the chance to be heard but failed to do so by deleting the offensive material or show up in front of the authorities, according to the PTA statement.

The statement said, “Given the platform’s deliberate refusal to comply with the PTA’s orders Wikipedia services have been downgraded for 48 hours with the direction to block/remove the reported information.

Wikipedia would be blocked in the country if the regulator’s warning was disregarded and its restoration would be reconsidered subject to blocking/removal of the alleged unlawful content.

The authorities have already taken note of undesirable content on the platform. The PTA has sent warnings to Google Inc. and Wikipedia in December 2020 for “disseminating sacrilegious information.”