Social media platforms face disruption in Pakistan


anti-judiciary campaign

ISLAMABAD: Social media platforms in Pakistan faced a major disruption on Sunday night, according to internet watchdog Netblocks.

The outage affected popular services such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, as well as some VPNs and messaging apps.

Netblocks said the disruption started around 8 pm, coinciding with a virtual rally by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which was live-streamed on social media.

Users in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, and other cities reported difficulties in accessing the platforms and complained of slow internet speeds.

In a tweet on X, the PTI said: “This is proof of the fear of the unprecedented popularity of Imran Khan’s PTI! In what was an expected move, the illegitimate, fascist regime has slowed down internet speed & disruption of social media platforms all across Pakistan, prior to PTI’s historic Virtual Jalsa!”

This is not the first time that Pakistan has experienced internet blockages or censorship.

In the past, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has blocked websites such as YouTube, TikTok, and PUBG for various reasons, ranging from blasphemy to security.

The PTA has also ordered internet service providers to throttle or shut down internet services in certain areas during protests or political unrest.

Such actions have been criticized by digital rights activists and civil society groups, who argue that they violate the freedom of expression and access to information of millions of Pakistanis.

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