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Social Media Blackout Hits Pakistan Amidst PTI Virtual Rally

In a surprising turn of events on Sunday night, Pakistan experienced a major Social Media Blackout, causing inconvenience to millions of users. According to the internet watchdog Netblocks, the outage affected popular services including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, as well as some VPNs and messaging apps.

The Social Media Blackout reportedly commenced around 8 pm, coinciding with a virtual rally hosted by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which was being live-streamed on various social media platforms. Netblocks, which monitors internet disruptions globally, highlighted the widespread impact of the outage.

This incident is not the first time that Pakistan has faced challenges related to internet freedom. In the past, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has implemented website blocks, targeting platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, and PUBG for reasons ranging from blasphemy to security concerns.

Critics argue that such actions, including internet shutdowns and content blocking, infringe upon the freedom of expression and access to information for millions of Pakistanis. The PTA has previously ordered internet service providers to throttle or shut down internet services in specific regions during periods of protests or political unrest.

Digital rights activists and civil society groups have consistently criticized these measures, emphasizing the importance of safeguarding online freedoms and the right to access information. The recent social media blackout adds fuel to the ongoing debate regarding the balance between national security concerns and individual rights in the digital age.

As the situation unfolds, users and advocacy groups are closely monitoring developments, calling for transparency and accountability in addressing these disruptions and ensuring the protection of fundamental rights in the online space.

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