Twitter blocked in Pakistan over cartoon

Twitter access has now been blocked in the country of Pakistan due to the service showing images of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. The Associated Press reports that, according to the government, Twitter refused to remove messages posted by others about a contest that actually started on Facebook. The contest apparently centered on posting images of Muhammad. The religion of Islam considers any depiction of Muhammad as blasphemous.

While Pakistan's government claims that Facebook worked with them to remove the contest and its images, Twitter, which transmitted the images as "tweets" to promote the contest, allegedly refused to remove those images. Mohammad Yaseen, chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication's Authority, is quoted as saying, "We have been negotiating with them until last night, but they did not agree to remove the stuff, so we had to block it."

He added that once Twitter agrees to remove those images, access to the service will be restored in Pakistan. So far, neither Twitter nor Facebook have issued a comment.

In January, Twitter announced that it now had the ability to block messages to a specific country without blocking those messages to the rest of the world. At the time the company said, "We try to keep content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't. The Tweets must continue to flow."

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