Twitter Restores Access to Banned Accounts in Pakistan
A month after it blocked identified accounts in Pakistan, Twitter has restored access to those. The microblogging site said it has re-examined initial requests to lift the ban. Apparently, it did not find sufficient justification to keep the prohibition. Thus, the accounts were recently reopened.
In a statement, the Website said it is always striving to make the best and most informative decisions especially when compelled to react to requests to withhold identified content around the world. It also hinted that it carefully assesses such situations so it could implement only the most practical and logical moves.
Requests to block tweets
The telecommunications authority in Pakistan sent requests in May for Twitter to takedown tweets that the government considers as ‘unethical’ and/or ‘blasphemous.’ Those accounts include those that are obviously owned by anti-Islamic movements, those that feature images of Muslim Prophet Muhammad, and those that contain pictures of Duke University student and porn star Belle Knox.
It was in May 18 when Twitter initially decided to withhold the content in Pakistan. It then said that it would rely on information to be provided by the country’s telecommunication authority.
Back then, the company also said that it has always been consistent to its policies that are communicated to all account holders. It also revealed the auctioned takedown requests in the past in an effort to indicate its transparency related to this decision.
Twitter’s decision to put restrictions
The decision to lift the ban came after a re-examination of Pakistan’s requests to block access to the accounts. It was the first time for Twitter to agree to censor content in the country. It has found that there is no more imminent reason to continue the prohibition.
The Website first considered blocking tweets in January 2012, after it realized that it had to take into consideration restrictions on speech in specific countries. Thus, in Germany, pro-Nazi tweets are banned. In France, homophobic tweets are being filtered. However, it clarified that restrictions would only be applicable in specific and affected countries. Those would not apply to Twitter when accessed in other countries, especially in the US.