Suspension of X Enters Fourth Day in Pakistan

After a brief recovery period yesterday, X, formerly known as Twitter, faces its fourth consecutive day of suspension. Users are encountering difficulties accessing the social media platform and app.

The outage commenced on February 17 when Rawalpindi Commissioner Liaqat Ali Chattha announced his surrender to the police, confessing to manipulating the recent general elections. Admitting to personally overseeing the alteration of 70,000 votes, he disclosed turning winners into losers overnight.

With X’s suspension now extending to its fourth day in Pakistan, it marks the longest outage in the country’s history. Downdetector, a website outage tracker, once again registers numerous disruption reports nationwide, with users unable to load their feeds or access anything on their X accounts.

The decision to suspend X has sparked inquiries about its reasoning, with speculations of potential political motives. Concerns have also been expressed about the impact on freedom of expression and information access in the country.

Despite being a key regulatory body for telecommunications and digital services, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has opted to remain neutral on the matter. PTA sources clarified that the authority played no role in the decision to suspend X in Pakistan. The responsibility for the suspension has been attributed to the Ministry of Interior, overseeing national security and digital regulations. Nonetheless, the Ministry has not furnished comprehensive reasons or justifications for the imposition of the ban, leaving both users and stakeholders in search of clear explanations.

In response to the ban, some social media users are resorting to virtual private networks (VPNs) to bypass restrictions and access X’s services.

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