Social media platforms across Pakistan face disruption

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Social media platforms across Pakistan face disruption

ISLAMABAD, JAN 7: Internet monitor Netblocks reported a nationwide disruption of social media platforms on Sunday evening hours before the PTI was scheduled to hold a virtual fundraising telethon and launch its election manifesto.

“Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across Pakistan, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube,” the internet tracking agency said.

It added that the incident comes as “persecuted former PM Imran Khan’s party, PTI, launches its election fundraising telethon”.

In a similar incident last month, internet outages were also reported during a PTI virtual power show.

Earlier today, the PTI had announced that it would hold a virtual fundraising telethon and manifesto launch at 9pm.

Users reported having difficulty accessing social media platforms in several areas of the country shortly after 6pm. They also complained about internet services being slow.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Zulfi Bukhari said the internet shutdown was aimed at stopping the party’s fundraiser.

The party called the internet shutdown “absolutely shameful” and demanded that the IT minister should resign “for this continuing damage to Pakistanis”.

According to a report by Surfshark, a virtual private network company headquartered in Lithuania, a half-year analysis of internet shutdown based on the Internet Shutdown Tracker revealed that Pakistan was responsible for three of the 42 new restrictions worldwide, which were imposed following Imran’s arrest.

At the time, access to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube was restricted in the country. At the same time, several temporary cellular network disruptions were also witnessed across the country for several days afterwards.

The Surfshark report ranked Pakistan behind Iran and India as the countries leading the list of regimes that imposed internet restrictions during the first half of 2023 with Asia being the focal point of most internet shutdowns.