IHC: Twitter could be blocked in Pakistan


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has disapproved government’s evident inaction in blocking content considered offending to Islam on Twitter. And alarmed to order blockage of the micro-blogging platform if no appropriate action was taken against sacrilegious material on it.

In his comments over non-execution of the court judgment passed on March 31, 2017, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC inquired as to why blasphemous material was as yet present on Twitter in spite of directions from the court of its removal.

He asked that the relevant government’s quarters should write to Twitter authorities on the issue and submit a report in the following hearing. He said the court could direct blockage of the media.

Head of Pakistan’s Telecommunication Authority, responding to the court, had said that eliminating all blasphemous material from roughly 1.4 billion pages on social media and the internet was an extremely difficult task. “Even shutting down social media would not help, he said, as the websites and pages could still be reached by using proxies.” He added that objectionable pages were being removed with the help of Facebook officials.

On Friday, Justice Siddiqui ordered authorities concerned to write to Twitter, warning he would pass orders to block the social networking website if blasphemous content remained online till the next hearing.

Previously in the past, Pakistan had blocked Facebook for not removing blasphemous content for two weeks in 2010 while YouTube also was banned countrywide from 2012 to 2016 over blasphemous content.


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