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Technology / AI and automation

Pakistan blocks Twitter

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According to a report by Associated Press, the micro-blogging site was blocked in Pakistan on Sunday after Twitter refused to remove tweets part of a campaign encouraging users to post photos of Islam’s prophet Mohammed.

Mohammad Yaseen, Chairman of the Pakista Telecommunication’s Authority says the tweets were supporting a Facebook competition to post photos of Islam’s prophet Mohammed.

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Everybody draw Mohammad Day Facebook Page

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The campaign called "Everybody draw Mohammad" day started on Facebook in 2010 in support of free speech and expression for those threatened for drawing representations of Islam’s prophet Mohammad. The campaign originally began as a protest against censorship on the television show, South Park, by Comedy Central after those responsible for segments relating to Muhammad received death threats.

Facebook has worked with Pakistan on complaints about the content but Twitter did not agree to remove the material.

"We have been negotiating with them until last night, but they did not agree to remove the stuff, so we had to block it," said Yaseen.

In the evening on Sunday, however, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani stepped in and put a stop to the Twitter ban. Gilani’s daughter announced via Twitter than the ban had been lifted.

"The Prime Minister has ordered the IT Minister to restore Twitter service in Pakistan," she said in a post.

During the ban Tweeters found ways around the blockade with some logging onto virtual private networks. Twitter users that were able to get around the ban have openly voiced their anger on the micro-blogging site.

According to Alexa rankings, Twitter is the 10th most trafficked site in Pakistan.

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