Pakistan

PTA approaches Twitter over ‘unsubstantiated’ suspension of accounts

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Thursday said it had raised concerns with Twitter after the website suspended hundreds of accounts without any warning to the users.

“Twitter has recently suspended accounts of a number of Twitter users from Pakistan without any warning and on unsubstantiated grounds. PTA considers action of Twitter admin against set principles of freedom of speech,” PTA said in a post.

Speaking to Pakistan Tribune, PTA spokesperson Khurram Mehran said the regulator had received 396 complaints, which were taken up with Twitter.

He said that Twitter had restored only 66 accounts, while the remaining accounts were still suspended.

PTA has requested users to report their complaints with the authority at ‘content-complaint@pta.gov.pk’ so that the issue can be raised with Twitter officials.

Several Pakistani journalists and other users are believed to be the victims of Twitter’s policy of suspending accounts.

Journalist Hasan Zaidi, whose account was restored after bring reported, said, “I had been locked out of my account again over a frivolous troll farm complaint. This time I refused to delete the tweet to get access back and decided to contest on principle.”

Another journalist, Benazir Shah, also tweeted that someone from Germany had reported her account for posting an article regarding the number of resignations and firings in the last 15 months of the PTI government.

It is not the first time Twitter has suspended accounts belonging to Pakistani users.

In September, the PTA had taken up the issue with Twitter’s Trust and Safety Vice-President Del Harvey, when the social media giant had acted on Indian requests and blocked many users tweeting in favour of Kashmiri people.

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