NetBlocks, an internet tracking website, confirmed that YouTube was “briefly” blocked on multiple internet providers during PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speech in Rawalpindi.
“NetBlocks metrics confirm the disruption of YouTube on multiple internet providers in Pakistan on Sunday, August 21, 2022,” the watchdog said in a statement.
However, “real-time network data” showed that the disruption was seen on some but not all mobile and fixed-line internet providers in Pakistan during the live-streamed speech, as stated by NetBlocks.
The watchdog further shared that the “access was restored after the speech concluded”.
The move comes after a report in The News revealed that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority is planning to limit PTI coverage on social media following a ban on live coverage of Imran Khan’s speeches by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
YouTube’s blocking was also confirmed by the Google-owned platform via its Twitter account “@TeamYouTube” after some users in Pakistan tagged the video-sharing platform on the microblogging site with complaints of blockage.
On the contrary, PTI chief said the decision to censor his speech midway through on the video-sharing platform demonstrated the “desperation of those who are willing to push Pakistan into political and economic chaos for their own self-interest.”
“After PEMRA blocked live transmission of my Pindi jalsa speech on TV channels, the imported government blocked YouTube in the middle of my speech.” “This only demonstrates the desperation of those who are willing to push Pakistan into political and economic chaos for their own self-interest,” the PTI chief wrote in a tweet.