In Pakistan after PMLN led government failed to disperse the protestors at Faizabad, basically to prevent the people from knowing the current situation, government took steps which affected lives of millions of Pakistanis. One such step was blocking the social media. Blockade of social media in itself is act which tried to prey on the people’s right of information. But there even more damaging consequences of it, which people of Pakistan had to bear.
One such example is “Login with Facebook”. Almost every internet user knows it very well what “Login with Facebook” is. Also, almost every website which requires users to login to their system provide the feature to people to login to the via Facebook. So People instead of making the account on every website, use the Facebook to login to all those site.
Now what happened is, when the Facebook was blocked after the Faizabad operation failure, millions of people were locked out of their accounts on many websites on which they used to “login via Facebook”. And these websites may be very important ones, like the freelancing sites, which people use to earn their living online. Or the eCommerce sites on which they had ordered something and payed for it and now not able to login to website to track their order. These are just two basic use cases these websites can range from education to travel and much much more.
So these childish steps of blocking the social media have left people locked out of many useful sites which may effect their life very badly. Someone earn bread for their children via a freelancing site which he logs in via Facebook and now after being locked out if it, isn’t it situation of worry for him.
Now what people can do is wait, hope and pray that government normalizes the things very soon. Also, I hope that next time before blocking the social media websites and services, authorities consider what impact it will have on lives of people.
In my own opinion blocking such services in today’s world are like oppressing your own people and their rights of information and free speech. No democracy allows its democratic leaders to give and implement such blunt decision which affect people so badly. These blockages are seen in countries like Syria and other countries when some dictators were ruling the people and didn’t wanted the world to know their crimes against humanity.
In my opinion it was nothing of this scale for which government needed to block TV channels and specially social media. Whatever happened is just not allowed in a democracy and government should think million times before taking such actions.
UPDATE: Following the fierce public reaction, the social media, blocked TV channels and all affected platforms were restored in just hours. This shows one thing, unlike china and few other countries, Pakistani people does not take the internet censorship lightly and they will not allow any government to take away their freedoms. However, censorship to block any inappropriate content is more than welcome.