Several users are reporting that the government of Pakistan has just blocked access to various social networks in the country, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A “blackout journalistic” regime was also deployed in the region, taking most of its TV channels off the air. The blockade was apparently applied after the Pakistani police responded to the recent Islamist protests there – the action ended with six dead and at least 200 wounded.
At 3:02 p.m. this afternoon, the official profile of Twitter’s public policies published a message commenting on what happened, warning users that the platform is “monitoring the situation.” Some individuals claim that it is still possible to access the service through the use of virtual private networks (VPNs).
We are aware of reports that the Pakistani government has taken action to block Twitter service, as well as other social media services, and that users are having difficulty using Twitter in Pakistan. We are monitoring the situation and hope service will be fully restored soon.
— Twitter Public Policy (@Policy) November 25, 2017
Other Internet users have also used the social network to denounce that YouTube, Dailymotion, and Facebook are also off the air. A citizen identified as Gibran Ashraf says the government is trying to stop Protestants from communicating, which would spur more negative news of police action.
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Dailymotion blocked in #Pakistan as govt tries to block communication for religious protesters & everyone else
— Gibran Ashraf (@GibranAshraf) November 25, 2017
Enemy of the internet
It is worth remembering that, since 2014, Pakistan is considered one of the “enemies of the internet,” as the countries on the blacklist of the French NGO Reporters Without Borders are called. This is because this is not the first time that the region has been targeted by this type of online censorship; over the last few years, the Pakistani government has already blocked several access to social networks and local news sites.