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Twitter has honored five requests made by a Pakistani bureaucrat working for the country’s Telecommunications Authority to censor tweets and accounts it considered “blasphemous” and “unethical.”
According to the New York Times, the social network agreed to shield certain tweets from the eyes of Pakistani Twitter users at the request of Abdul Batin. The requests including censoring crude drawings of the Prophet Muhammad, photographs of burning Qurans, and tweets from anti-Islam bloggers and an American porn star.
This is apparently the first time Twitter has agreed to block specific content in Pakistan since it introduced its country-specific censorship policy in 2012. The policy takes into accounts local laws that apply to tweets and will consider reactively withholding access to certain content if they receive “valid and properly scoped” requests from authorized entities. Despite this, the NYT claims that a number of accounts were blocked not reactively, but in anticipation of the annual “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day,” which falls on May 20.
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