Pakistan blocked access to the social networking site Twitter on Sunday in response to “blasphemous content” posted about the Prophet Muhammad, the Associated Press reported.
The micro-blogging site had reportedly refused to remove material promoting a competition on Facebook to post images of the prophet. Many Muslims consider any depiction of Muhammad offensive and un-Islamic.
“This has been done under the directions of the Ministry of Information Technology. It’s because of blasphemous content,” Mohammed Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, said according to Reuters. “They (the ministry) have been discussing with them (Twitter) for some time now, requesting them to remove some particular content.”
He said Facebook had agreed to address the country’s concerns about the competition, but Twitter had not.
“We have been negotiating with them until last night, but they did not agree to remove the stuff, so we had to block it,” Yaseen said. “The ministry officials are still trying to make them (Twitter) agree, and once they remove that stuff, the site will be unblocked.”
According to the Associated Press, a top Pakistani court banned access to Facebook for two weeks in 2010 over anger about a similar competition. Some protesters at the time advocated jihad against the site for allowing the page.