Twitter Lifts Ban on “Blasphemous” Tweets in Pakistan

Twitter is to restore access to a number of “blasphemous” and “unethical” tweets in Pakistan after the watchdogs in question failed to follow up on their requests. The ban was initially instituted on May 18th.


Photo: Gil C / Shutterstock

Since 2012 Twitter has been able to block content country by country by using its Country Withheld Content tool. The social media giant received requests for takedowns relating to content that feature anti-Islamic sentiments, images depicting the Prophet Muhammed or the burning of the Koran, and the Twitter accounts of American pornography actresses.

“We have re-examined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted,” wrote Twitter on its decision to lift the block.

Pakistani authorities have yet to respond to the content’s fresh availability in the country.

“We always strive to make the best, most informed decisions we can when we’re compelled to reactively withhold identified content in specific jurisdictions around the world,” said Twitter on its decision to put the Country Withheld Content tool to use.

Pakistan is not the only country to see it in action. In Germany, neo-Nazi accounts are withheld, while in France a number of homophobic tweets were censored.