Facebook, Other Social Media to Be Banned in Pakistan Over Blasphemy
The government of Pakistan may ban Facebook and other social-media platforms over what it considers ‘blasphemous content,’ according to the country’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, speaking at a news conference.
Earlier, the minister directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to contact social-networking websites for the purpose of deleting pages found to be insulting to religious figures of Islam.
"It seems that social media is working under freedom to lie rather than freedom of expression," the minister said, adding that he was disappointed that Facebook officials were not aware of the sensitivity of the matter to religious leaders in the Pakistani government.
PTA said the process could take from three to four weeks. In the petition, filed by the country's Civil Society, complainants argued that three weeks of access to controversial content is too long, and would lead to a significant decline in law and order in Pakistan, and if PTA did not close the pages immediately, it should at least block the entire website.
© AFP 2017/ PRAKASH SINGH
The current administration of Pakistan has been a strident advocate of censoring what it considers to be blasphemous content related to the predominant religion of the country. It is not the first time that Facebook has faced bans in the Muslim-majority nation of over 10-million users of the social-media platform.