According to a spokesperson, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has stopped access to the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia in Pakistan for failing to “block/remove sacrilegious content” within the 48-hour time period provided to the website.
Wikipedia is a free, crowdsourced, editable online encyclopedia that serves as a starting point for millions of people across the world.
Wednesday, the PTA prohibits Wikipedia in Pakistan for failing to comply with instructions to remove objectionable content.
The governing body noted that the website had not responded to its requests or removed the in question content.
Malahat Obaid, a spokesperson for the PTA, stated that the limitation was granted mostly due to noncompliance with directives.
The official stated, “The decision will be reconsidered once the regulatory authorities have identified sacrilegious content on Wikipedia.”
Users encounter the message “this site cannot be accessible” when attempting to access the site.
The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization that manages Wikipedia, stated yesterday that it “does not make decisions about what material is placed on Wikipedia or how that content is maintained.”
According to the corporation, this is done “on purpose to ensure that articles are the result of many persons joining together to determine what information should be shared on the web, resulting in richer, more balanced material.”
“We hope that the Pakistani government will join the Wikimedia Foundation in its commitment to knowledge as a human right and swiftly restore access to Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects so that the people of Pakistan can continue to receive and share information with the rest of the world,” the statement continues.
The telecom regulator announced earlier this week that it had submitted a notice under “applicable legislation and court order(s)” requesting that Wikipedia restrict or delete the content in question.
“A hearing chance was also provided, however the platform did not cooperate by removing the blasphemous content or appearing before the authorities,” the statement reads.
“Due to the platform’s deliberate unwillingness to comply with PTA directives, Wikipedia’s services have been degraded for 48 hours with the directive to block/remove the content,” the statement stated.
In the event of noncompliance, Wikipedia will be banned in the country, and its reinstatement will be “considered subject to blocking/removal of the suspected illicit content.”