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Pakistan blocks, then unblocks Twitter

Cracks down on 140 character blasphemy
Mon May 21 2012, 10:13
Twitter was briefly blocked in Pakistan

MICRO BLOGGING SERVICE Twitter was briefly banned in Pakistan over the weekend after part of the country's government became concerned about messages on it.

Twitter was banned in Pakistan last weekend, but it was not the decision of the government as a whole. Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Minister for Interior has taken to Twitter to explain what happened, and why it will never happen again.

Malik said there were messages circulating that could be seen as offensive to Islam, but conceded that blocking Twitter was the wrong way to deal with that.

Malik said that Pakistan's IT ministry acted after it realised that potentially blasphemous messages were spreading and that it blocked the web site.

"It was all of a sudden by IT ministry after witnessing anti Islamic material was not consulted on it however I hv played my role to restore," he explained in a tweet.

Although the government will not intervene in other similar incidents, Malik once again asked that Twitter users respect others. Good luck with that.

He explained that Twitter has resisted a request to take down the messages, adding that in the future any such requests will be coming its way via Interpol.

Malik did well here, on Twitter at least, but the situation might be a bit embarrassing for him. On 19 May, just hours before this all started, he assured his followers that Twitter would never be banned in Pakistan. µ


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