Twitter was blocked in Pakistan for much of Sunday because it would not remove tweets that were considered “offensive to Islam.” The tweets were encouraging the Draw Muhammad Day (#DrawMuhammadDay) competition, which prompted users to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad to Facebook. Even though some of the images posted were favorable, many Muslims regard any depictions of the prophet as blasphemous.
There were conflicting reports of what was blocked and when. Despite the outages, Pakistan’s Minister of Interior, Rehman Malik, tweeted that Twitter and Facebook were not going to be blocked in the country, and asked citizens to “please ignore the rumors.
Twitter spokesman Gabriel Stricker said Twitter had not taken down tweets or made changes before Pakistan stopped blocking the site.
The ministry restored access to Twitter on Sunday evening.
Earlier this year, Twitter announced that it would be “blocking certain tweets in certain countries,” yet it did not go into explicit detail about what types of tweets it was referring to.
Pakistan went ahead and banned many curse words from texts in November 2011. Many of the words appear to be made up.
Flag image via Shutterstock.