Pakistan blocks Facebook over Prophet drawing campaign
Facebook campaign page blocked in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia
Pakistan has blocked access to Facebook because of a religiously-fuelled campaign on the social networking site called ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'.
A Facebook user recently set up the page inviting people to send in a ‘creative and funny depiction of Mohammed' today (May 20), with the intention of supporting freedom of speech and to protest threats made by an Islamic group against the creators of South Park for depicting the Prophet Mohammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.
Hundreds of Facebook users have called for the social-networking site to pull down the page. Other users have created their own pages in protest with one page, ‘AGAINST "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!', already having the support of more than 92,000 people.
Facebook sent a statement to the media saying that they are investigating the matter and that they would consider restricting access to the controversial content in specific countries.
"While the content does not violate our terms, we do understand it may not be legal in some countries," the company said in a statement. "In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries."
The page is presently not accessible in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim nation, has decided to block the website entirely ‘till further orders' following a decision by the Lahore High Court. It's believed that YouTube has now also been blocked in the country because of un-Islamic content.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has set up a toll free number and dedicated email address for citizens to report any other websites and URLs where ‘such objectionable material is placed'.