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Social media platforms disruption during PTI virtual rally

Social media platforms disruption

Internet monitoring organization Netblocks reported a widespread disruption to social media platforms across Pakistan on Saturday evening, coinciding with a virtual event organized by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

The disruption affected popular platforms, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, according to live metrics provided by the internet tracking agency at 7:12 pm.

“Confirmed: Live metrics show a nation-scale disruption to social media platforms across Pakistan, including X/Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube,” Netblocks stated, noting that the incident occurred as the PTI launched its second virtual gathering.

The disruption raises concerns about freedom of expression and digital communication during critical political events in the country.

Responding to Netblocks’ confirmation, the PTI issued a statement expressing dismay: “Shame on the caretakers that are causing damage to Pakistanis only.”

Also read: Social media slowdown hampers PTI’s virtual fundraiser

The party insisted that its virtual event would proceed as planned, commencing at 8 pm despite the apparent interference with online communication.

Meanwhile, officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued a statement refuting claims of a nationwide internet service disruption.

In their statement, they clarified, “Internet service is fully operational, and no cable has been affected anywhere in the country.”

This contradicts earlier reports from Netblocks, emphasizing the need for clarity and investigation into the apparent discrepancy in information regarding the status of internet services during the PTI’s virtual event.

This is not the first instance of such disruptions, as a similar incident occurred on January 7 during a virtual fundraising telethon organized by the PTI.

Following that disruption, the PTI urged the Supreme Court to take notice of the suspension of internet services and the blockage of social media websites, asserting that these actions deprived 240 million people of their basic rights and resulted in financial losses for the country.

Telecom operators also expressed concerns over frequent internet outages, citing potential political motivations behind the disruptions.

The December 17 virtual power show organized by the PTI saw a similar impact on social media platforms, further highlighting the recurrent nature of such incidents during the party’s virtual events.