Twitter Backtracks On Blasphemy Blocking
Twitter has now restored tweets and accounts that were taken down last month following demands from the Pakistani government, CNet reports.
The tweets were blocked for users in Pakistan after a Pakistani telecommunications regulatory agency sent block requests to Twitter, calling the tweets blasphemous and unethical. Dozens of tweets were blocked, including crude drawings of Muhammad and photos of burning copies of the Quran.
However, Twitter has now reevaluated the block requests and decided that the Pakistani government’s arguments were insufficient.
“We have examined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that the restoration of the previously held content is warranted,” Twitter said in a statement issued this week.
The initial decision to block the content drew heavy criticism from free speech advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which accused Twitter of caving to government pressure, and Pakistani group Bolo Bhi, which questioned the authority of the Pakistani agency to issue the block requests in the first place.
Despite concerns, the social network reaffirmed its commitment to the best and most transparent possible approach when faced with requests for censorship.
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