WASHINGTON- The micro-blogging website, Twitter, has honored five requests put forth by an official from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block tweets that he regarded as blasphemous, a report published in the New York Times said.
All five requests were made in the month of May by the PTA's Abdul Batin who had asked Twitter to censor accounts, tweets or searches on the social network that he described as "blasphemous" or "unethical." Twitter honored all requests which called for the blocking of content from
drawings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), photographs of burning copies of the Holy Quran and messages from a handful of anti-Islam bloggers as well as an American porn star who now attends Duke University, the NYT report said.
The blocking of these tweets in Pakistan is in line with Twitter's country-specific censorship policy that it made public in 2012. The report moreover said that it was the first time that the social network had agreed to block content.
Twitter's compliance with the PTA's requests comes at a time when Pakistan is already confronted with multiple censorship challenges. Twitter, which has trumpeted its commitment to free speech, argues that it was a lesser evil to block specific tweets that might violate local laws than to have the entire site blocked in certain countries. Twitter posts a record of every request it agrees to in the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, a database maintained by eight American law schools and the Electronic