All social media platforms are up and running again in Pakistan after a temporary ban earlier announced was lifted. Users were denied access to their favorite social media services following an announcement by the Pakistani government.
The federal government had on Friday directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to temporarily suspend social media platforms in the country from 11am-3pm. The suspension was put in place as the government moved to crackdown on violent terrorist groups and prevent troublemakers from disrupting Friday prayers from holding.
A lot of people never expected the ban to be lifted this soon considering previous experiences, but the government kept to its words this time around. That said, moves like this does not do the image of the country any good.
Last year, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority banned TikTok after several complaints were received from “different segments of the society” alleging that TikTok encourages the sharing of “immoral/indecent content”
“Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has issued instructions for blocking of the application. Keeping in view the complaints and nature of the content being consistently posted on TikTok, PTA issued a final notice to the application and gave considerable time to respond and comply with the Authority instructions for development of effective mechanism for proactive moderation of unlawful online content. However, the application failed to fully comply with the instructions.”
A few days later, the PTA in an announcement via Twitter, said the ban on TikTok had been “conditionally” lifted after assurances were given by the owners of the app to “moderate content in accordance with social norms and the laws of Pakistan.”
Earlier in the month, the military government in Myanmar Ordered the indefinite shutdown of broadband internet to suppress press freedom in the troubled country. More than 500 protesters have been killed while thousands have been arrested in attempts to quell the unrest.
The military junta had earlier ordered that internet connection in the country be throttled which affected the ability of people to access broadband services. This time around, it is a complete blackout as users will not be able to access broadband internet.
Shortly after blocking Facebook apparently to silence the voice of the people, the government in February ordered that Instagram and Twitter be blocked “until further notice.”
Prior to being blocked, Facebook users had been reportedly using the platform to protest the coup. Users, according to WSJ, were using the platform to share images of themselves giving the three-finger salute that has now become associated with resistance in the region.