Monday, May 21, 2012

Pakistan: offensive Tweets banned, government IT blocks Twitter

It seems some people were having a context to see who could post the best/most/worst picture of Muhammad, and Pakistan got offended.  They have blocked their citizens from using Twitter and are now trying to figure out a way to control it.  It won't work, but it will keep Pakistani officials busy for a while and make it appear they are doing important work.

To all my Pakistani readers who are not jihadists; keep tweeting, the world needs you!

From the Winnipeg Free Press May 20 by Zarar Khan

Pakistan blocks Twitter because of tweets considered offensive to Islam

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan blocked the social networking website Twitter for much of Sunday because it refused to remove tweets considered offensive to Islam, said one of the country's top telecommunications officials.
The tweets were promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, said Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority. Many Muslims regard depictions of the prophet, even favourable ones, as blasphemous.
The government restored access to Twitter before midnight Sunday, about eight hours after it initially blocked access. It was unclear whether the government reversed its decision because of action by Twitter or because of public criticism it received for its censorship.
Yaseen said Sunday afternoon that Pakistan's Ministry of Information Technology had ordered the telecommunications authority to block Twitter because the company refused to remove the offending tweets. In contrast, Facebook had agreed to address Pakistan's concerns about the competition, he said.
The ministry informed Yaseen to restore access to Twitter Sunday evening, but he did not know what led to the decision.
Twitter spokesman Gabriel Stricker said the company had not taken down any tweets or made any other changes before Pakistan stopped blocking the site. Officials from Facebook were not immediately available for comment.
A top court in Pakistan ordered a ban on Facebook in 2010 amid anger over a similar competition. The ban was lifted about two weeks later, after Facebook blocked the particular page in Pakistan. The Pakistani government said at the time that it would continue to monitor other major websites for anti-Islamic links and content.
Anti-Islamic links...sounds like a golf course I would play.
Read it all

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