Published On: Fri, Aug 29th, 2014

Uproar in Pakistan as Instagram Apparently Blocked

Pakistan Instagram

Pakistanis who use social media were infuriated when they were blocked from access to Instagram for nearly 17 hours. Those who tried to access Instagram were greeted with the message: Surf Safely: The page you are trying to access contains material prohibited from viewership in Pakistan.” The conclusion that government censorship was behind the blockage was voiced by many Pakistanis on Twitter, although the cause of the Instagram outage has yet to be determined, or at least, announced.

Thirty minutes after reports that Pakistanis had no access to Instagram, a Facebook executive issued a statement that the company was looking into the matter. The Instagram fiasco reminded many Pakistanis of the YouTube ban in the country over the appearance on the video sharing site of an anti-Islamic film in 2012. YouTube is still censored in Pakistan.

Pakistanis fled to Twitter to express their dismay at not having access to Instagram. Nuzhat S. Siddiqui wrote “Can someone ask the IT minister why Instagram has been banned in Pakistan? Why are we banning everything in a true democracy?” Karachikhatmal wrote: “With Pakistan returning to the coup old days, maybe they banned Instagram because they had no rose-tinted filters.”

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