Twitter has unblocked a number of tweets and users of its service, which it had blocked on May 18 following requests from Pakistan, following last week’s successful campaign, led by a number of humanist and non-religious organisations. The British Humanist Association (BHA) was a signatory to a letter addressed to the UN Ambassador for Pakistan calling for Pakistan to honour its commitments to freedom of expression under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was also a key promoter of the #TwitterTheocracy hashtagand of the Ex-Muslims of North America’s petition to Twitter.
Twitter had been complying with requests from Pakistan which blocked tweets deemed by its local authorities to denigrate Islam, or which were otherwise ‘blasphemous’ or ‘unethical’.
In a statement made yesterday, Twitter said:
‘We always strive to make the best, most informed decisions we can when we’re compelled to reactively withhold identified content in specific jurisdictions around the world. On May 18, 2014, we made an initial decision to withhold content in Pakistan based on information provided to us by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority. Consistent with our longstanding policies we provided notice to all of the affected account holders and published the actioned takedown requests on Chilling Effects to maximize transparency regarding our decision. We have re-examined the requests and, in the absence of additional clarifying information from Pakistani authorities, have determined that restoration of the previously withheld content is warranted. The content is now available again in Pakistan.’
This shows that we can achieve great things using hashtags, so hashtag activism shouldn’t really be a pejorative statement anymore. I was inspired to see the whole atheist movement behind this – we united for our common values.
Thanks to Ex-Muslims of North America for incubating this worthy campaign.
And congratulations to you all.