Pakistan blocks Wikipedia over ‘blasphemous content’


Pakistan has blocked access to Wikipedia for failing to remove what authorities considered “blasphemous content”.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had earlier in the week given the online encyclopaedia 48 hours to remove the material, without publicly specifying its exact objections.

Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Muslim-majority Pakistan, and social media giants Facebook and YouTube have previously been banned for publishing content deemed sacrilegious.

A spokesman for the telecoms regulator, Malahat Obaid, said Wikipedia was blocked across the country on Friday “after it failed to respond to our repeated correspondence over removal of the blasphemous content and meet the deadline”.

Wikipedia is written and maintained by a community of volunteers, through open collaboration.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit fund managing the website, said the block “denies the fifth most populous nation in the world access to the largest free knowledge repository”.

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