Wikipedia services have been restored in Pakistan on the orders of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, making the website once more accessible.
In accordance with a cabinet committee’s recommendation, the PM had earlier in the day ordered the quick restoration of Wikipedia in Pakistan.
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Millions of people use Wikipedia as a starting point for knowledge because it is free, open-source, and editable online.
Due to the failure to block or remove offensive content, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) downgraded Wikipedia services in the country on February 1. In addition, the telecom authority issued a warning that the portal would be blocked in Pakistan if Wikipedia did not comply within 48 hours.
Press Release: PTA has degraded Wikipedia services in the country on account of not blocking / removing sacrilegious contents. pic.twitter.com/h6ZWuf8TnR— PTA (@PTAofficialpk) February 1, 2023
Wikipedia services in Pakistan were subsequently terminated on February 3 as a result of the refusal to remove sacrilegious content.
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Following the closure of the website, the Wikimedia Foundation pleaded with Pakistan to quickly restore access to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
According to the Wikimedia Foundation, having access to knowledge is a fundamental human right.
Wikipedia has been blocked in Pakistan.— Wikimedia Foundation (@Wikimedia) February 4, 2023
Today, Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority blocked @Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects in the country.
Follow the thread for more information ?⬇️ (1/4)https://t.co/8xM73if9B2
Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia, is the main source of accurate information for millions of people. It describes itself as a continually growing historical archive that gives people from all backgrounds the chance to contribute to the understanding of each other’s respective religions, traditions, and cultures.
The Wikimedia Foundation claims that Pakistan, the fifth-most populous nation in the world, is unable to access the largest free information repository because of a block of Wikipedia there. If it continues, everyone will lose access to information about Pakistan’s history and culture.
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Wikipedia’s ban “betrays a deliberate lack of understanding of the role that social media play in allowing people to receive, fact-check, exchange, and respond to news and information,” claims the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).
The @PTAofficialpk's decision to ban Wikipedia betrays a wilful lack of understanding of the role that social media play in allowing people to obtain, fact-check, share and respond to news and information. #wikipediaBlocked pic.twitter.com/UGRsww6nZB— Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (@HRCP87) February 5, 2023
The Wikimedia Foundation asserts that a block of Wikipedia in Pakistan, the world’s fifth-most populous country, prevents Pakistanis from accessing the world’s largest free information archive. If it persists, no one will have access to knowledge of Pakistan’s past or present.
PAKISTAN: We are alarmed about the blanket #Wikipediablock implemented by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on 4 Feb. This amounts to an unjustifiable restriction on the right to freedom of expression and must be reversed immediately and unconditionally. (1/3)— Amnesty International South Asia (@amnestysasia) February 6, 2023
Wikipedia’s prohibition “betrays a deliberate lack of understanding of the role that social media play in allowing people to receive, fact-check, exchange, and respond to news and information,” according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).