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Pakistan censors Twitter for not censoring content on Facebook

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Religion is often a delicate subject and peoples’ faith can be easily offended. One issue of constant controversy is the illustration of the Prophet Mohammed.  Pakistan recently blocked Twitter for 8 hours in response to them refusing to remove content linking to a Mohammed illustration contest. Facebook appeased the request to remove the content but Twitter stuck to their company protocol and paid the price for it. The Electronic Frontier Foundation clarifies:

“Last week, a spokesman for the Pakistani Ministry of Information Technology announced that Pakistan was blocking access to Twitter because the site had not removed links to a competition on Facebook to post cartoon images of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Why Twitter and not Facebook? The spokesman went on to say that Facebook had agreed to address the Pakistani government’s concerns—Facebook later issued a statement saying they had blocked the content about the contest in Pakistan—but they viewed Twitter as recalcitrant.

‘The government is in contact with Twitter and had asked them to remove the material. When they didn’t, it was decided that the site would be blocked.’

For their part, Twitter released an official statement reiterating their policy of taking down content in response to valid court orders, which they said they have not received from the Pakistani government. Neither Twitter nor Facebook appears to have offices, data centers, or personnel inside of Pakistan, giving rise to questions of whether the Pakistani courts have jurisdiction over either company. Both Facebook and Twitter have the capability to block content on a country-by-country basis. It is disappointing to see Facebook use this capability to censor content in Pakistan while Twitter has held its ground.”

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