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Are Social Media Sites Going to be Banned During Muharram?

Government officials in Pakistan have denied reports of a social media ban during Muharram

Are Social Media Sites Going to be Banned During Muharram

Government officials in Pakistan have denied reports of a social media ban during Muharram. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry denied that any judgments had been made regarding temporary limitations on social media platforms.

The rejection follows news reports that claimed the federal government had rejected provincial requests for a limited social media ban during the sacred month. The spokesperson clarified that no such decision has been made thus far.

The spokesperson for the Interior Ministry underscored that individual provinces cannot determine social media restrictions during Muharram. They clarified that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) may only be directed by the Interior Ministry to restrict social media access. The spokesperson suggested a decision may be made following a meeting with the appropriate authorities on Saturday (today).

Although some officials suggest that social media should be banned during Muharram, a complete closure could result in more issues than it resolves.

Initially, social media platforms emerged as indispensable communication instruments in Pakistan. Businesses utilize them to establish communication with their clients, families maintain communication, and journalists disseminate information. A prohibition would disrupt these essential connections.

Secondly, a ban would not necessarily prevent the spread of harmful content. Individuals frequently discover methods to access platforms that are prohibited. More importantly, it could potentially stifle critical discourse and undermine free speech, particularly in light of the recent, contentious restrictions on Twitter in Pakistan.

It may be more effective to prioritise content moderation and collaboration with social media companies to guarantee online safety during Muharram.

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