Social Media Ban in Pakistan

Social Media Ban in Pakistan
Pexel/ Brian Jiz, 20 April 2021


Eleni Patlaka

Pakistan Researcher,

Global Human Rights Defence

In Pakistan, access to the X (formerly Twitter) platform has been banned since February. The decision is based on the view that social networking sites harm the younger generation. In particular, they argue that social media promotes ideas that are contrary to Pakistani culture (religion, traditions) while promoting hatred. At the same time, they stress that such platforms promote propaganda against the Pakistani authorities and compromise the security of the state (Kalbe, 2024). However, human rights bodies and organisations have expressed their concern. The United States and its Supreme Court call for the ban on online platforms to be lifted. At the same time, internet companies are facing challenges because of the shutdown (Burney, 2024).

Today, the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s complaint, issued notice to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information about the incident. In particular, the defence advocates are urging the ban lifting, as it restricts freedom of speech as outlined in Article 19 of the Constitution, as well as the inviolability of human dignity, namely Article 14 of the Constitution (Burney, 2024). 

Sources and further reading:

Ali, K. (2024, March 3). Amid X outage, ban sought on all social media. DAWN.COM. Retrieved March 6, 2024. 

Burney, U. (2024, March 5). IHC issues notices to info ministry, PTA on plea challenging “ban” on social media site X. DAWN.COM. Retrieved March 6, 2024.