Social Media Ban In Pakistan Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, X, and YouTube

ISLAMABAD: Social Media Ban Meta-owned Facebook and Instagram were back up on Tuesday after a more than two-hour outage that was caused by a technical issue and impacted hundreds of thousands of users globally. The disruptions started at around 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), with many users saying on rival social media platform X they had been booted out of Facebook and Instagram and were unable to log in. In Pakistan, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger users said they were unable to log in to these platforms and encountered a “session expired” message at each attempt. “Meta platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Threads are currently experiencing outages related to login sessions in multiple countries,” Netblocks, a London-based Internet monitor, said on X. “Incident not related to country-level Internet disruptions or filtering.”

Pakistan’s Senate to discuss social media ban resolution :

Pakistan’s Senate is set to take up a resolution seeking a ban on mainstream social media sites in the light of possible “misuse” against the country and its armed forces, during its meeting scheduled for Monday, media reports said on Saturday.

The resolution was moved by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Bahramand Tangi, whose tenure as senator ends on March 11. It calls for social media, including Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter — now X, and YouTube, to “save the young generation from their negative and devastating effects,” The News International reported, “Cognisant of the fact that social media platforms are adversely affecting the young generation in the country; Acknowledging the fact that these platforms are being used for the promotion of norms against our religion and culture, creating hatred amongst the people on the grounds of language and religion,” the resolution read.

X Platform Faces More Disruptions In Pakistan :

The ‘confessions’ came as the ECP has already been in the crosshairs of several rigging allegations in the aftermath of a tumultuous week and thick clouds of manipulation continue to linger over results, throwing further questions over the legitimacy of the ballots.

Earlier according to NetBlocks, the metrics indicated that X/Twitter had been restricted in Pakistan for a continuous 24 hours, marking the lengthiest episode in a series of countrywide internet outages.

Downdetector highlighted at least 16 reports of potential issues on X across the country around 4:45 pm on Sunday, a number that escalated to 83 at a certain point. Real-time internet and social media outage monitoring services revealed that users attempting to access X were greeted with a disheartening message – “this site can’t be reached.”

Moreover, the disruptions extended beyond X, with disruptions reported on other major platforms including Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, and Google services, along with the internet service provider PTCL, last month.

In Short :

The resolution, which became controversial even before coming to the house, recommended to the government to put a ban on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and YouTube.

It was widely criticised shortly after it emerged on the house agenda, by digital rights activists and journalists who said the move was aimed at further curbing freedom of expression in Pakistan. The development came at a time when the country was already facing disruption to the services of X following allegations of rigging in February 8 polls.

The resolution was supposed to be moved by PPP Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi, who was expelled by the party last month for remaining silent in a Senate session that passed a controversial resolution seeking to delay February 8 polls due to security concerns. However, the Senate Secretariat’s record shows that Mr Tangi is still a senator of PPP.

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