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IHC threatens to block Twitter over alleged blasphemy

ISLAMABAD (Muslim Times) — The Islamabad High Court has expressed displeasure over government’s alleged failure to censor content deemed insulting to Islam on Twitter, threatening to ban the social networking website.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court asked the government to write to Twitter authorities over the issue and report back in the next hearing, saying he could order social media sites to be blocked if offending content remained online.

“The verdict (in online blasphemy case) was announced on May 2. Why is blasphemous material still accessible on Twitter? Politicians would cry a river if Twitter gets banned, saying such a move affects their campaign,” he said.

He ordered authorities concerned to write to Twitter, warning he would pass orders to block the social networking website if blasphemous content remained online till the next hearing.

Pakistan previously banned Facebook for hosting allegedly blasphemous content for two weeks in 2010 while YouTube was unavailable from 2012 to 2016 over content deemed insulting to Islam.

But Islamabad later came to agreements with major internet firms to block within Pakistan material that violated its laws, generally once the companies had performed their own cross-checks.

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