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Twitter blocks 'blasphemous' and 'unethical' content in Pakistan

Twitter blocks 'blasphemous' and 'unethical' content in Pakistan


Blocked content includes images of burning Qurans and drawings of the Prophet Muhammad

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Twitter is complying with a Pakistani bureaucrat's requests to block what he described as "blasphemous" or "unethical" content, according to the New York Times. The censored material includes illustrations of the Prophet Muhammad, tweets from anti-Islam bloggers, and photographs of burning Qurans. The full list of appeals made by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority's Abdul Batin can be found on Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, a database of cease-and-desist notices from across the Internet.

Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws have resulted in some staggering shows of censorship. The New York Times cites an example where an article entitled "Pakistan's Tyranny of Blasphemy" was replaced by a blank space in a local edition of the International News York Times. Back in March, a publishing partner of the same publication removed a cover story from 9,000 local copies after suffering an earlier attack by extremists. While this is the first time that the microblogging service has withheld content from Pakistani users, Twitter has honored similar requests before. The company has blocked access to a neo-Nazi group at the behest of local German authorities and stopped Turkish users from viewing accounts belonging to three whistleblowers.