Pakistan is currently at a loss in what appears to be a government throttling of Twitter and Zoom services causing difficulties in access both services across the country with the public accusing the government and prime minister of trying to hinder the ongoing SAATH virtual conference organized to discuss the systematic disappearance of Pakistani minority ethnic groups.
Both social media platforms stopped working in the country as early as Sunday with no known cause unless when accessed through the aide of Virtual Private Network (VPN) by users within the country.
According to NetBlocks, an Internet observatory firm that monitors internet shutdowns and disruptions across the world, “Disruption witnessed on both Twitter and Periscope recorded across Pakistan with effects on multiple networks, the incident is still ongoing with no solution in sight.”
Reema Khurshid, a Twitter user from Pakistan said that he can not connect to zoom either and not just twitter alone. There are other users within the country with similar complaints of not being able to access both Twitter and Zoom because of the ongoing “SAATHVirtualConf2020” with some saying that this move from the government if true has eventually made the conference and the subject matter being discussed at the conference more popular.
There have been reports of Pakistani government cracking down on social media usage in time past, with recent news on the 14th of Feb 2020 involving the new social media rules formulated by the Pakistani government which drew wide criticism from both local and international observers including digital-rights activists who believe the new social media rules were made to hand over absolute powers to the government to strangle social media activities.
There are uncertainties as to when normal services would be restored in Pakistan as Twitter is yet to respond to the incident.
How to Unblock Twitter and Zoom with a VPN
VPNs are virtual private network servers that let you access the internet with a different IP address. If you stay in a region where Twitter and Zoom are restricted, your IP address gives away your location which makes it unable for you to access the platforms. By using a different IP address of a region where Twitter and Zoom are not restricted, you will bypass the restrictions as you’ll appear as an internet user from that region.
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