Pakistan temporarily banned social media. Pakistan government on Friday ordered 4 hours-long shutdown of social media and instant messaging platforms after days of violent anti-France protests.
It comes a day after French nationals and companies in Pakistan were advised by their embassy to temporarily leave in the wake of rallies led by an extremist party that paralyzed large parts of the country and left two police officers dead.
In a notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the Interior Ministry requested a “complete blocking” of Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube and Telegram until the middle of the afternoon.
Pakistan authorities have used strategic social media bans and cuts to mobile service in the past in an attempt to head off major protests.
Earlier this week Pakistan banned the Islamist group Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan after arresting its leader, which prompted protests, according to local media reports.
Thousands of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) supporters spilled onto the streets in cities across the country on Monday after their leader was detained following his calls for the expulsion of the French ambassador.
The social media ban affected many Pakistanis already suffering from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and people working from home.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar, Eqtedar Ahmad told AFP his work as a doctor at a private hospital had been disrupted because many medical feedback servers are hosted on these same related service providers.
Though Pakistan, like its neighbor India, has temporarily cut phone calls access in the nation in the past, this is the first time Islamabad has issued a blanket ban on social media in the country.