“Blasphemous” Content Blocked on Twitter in Pakistan

Twitter has agreed to block “blasphemous” and “unethical” content in Pakistan, complying with a request from officials on the matter.

The report from the New York Times states that images of the prophet Muhammad and burning Qurans were causing dispute and were requested to be blocked. Abdul Batin of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority led the inquiry into the content.

Pakistan has a number of controversial blasphemy laws that outlaws such content and has resulted in a great deal of censorship.

The New York Times reports:

The blocking of these tweets in Pakistan — in line with the country-specific censorship policy Twitter unveiled in 2012 — is the first time the social network has agreed to withhold content there. A number of the accounts seemed to have been blocked in anticipation of the fourth annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” on May 20.

This censorship comes as challenges to Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy law have become increasingly deadly, amid a flurry of arrests, killings and assassination attempts on secularists.