Internet monitor Netblocks has reported a widespread disruption in social media platforms across Pakistan during a “virtual power show” organized by the PTI. The outage affects major platforms, including X, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, according to live metrics shared by the tracking agency.
Users in cities like Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad reported difficulty accessing social media platforms after 8pm, with additional complaints about slow internet services. The disruption coincides with the start of the PTI’s online event at 9pm.
TaazaTaren reached out to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) for a statement on the situation. This incident follows a previous disruption on May 9 when the PTA suspended mobile broadband nationwide on the interior ministry’s orders. Netblocks reported restrictions on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube access throughout Pakistan during PTI chief Imran Khan‘s arrest on that day.
In July, a Surfshark report ranked Pakistan third globally for imposing internet restrictions in the first half of 2023, with the country responsible for three out of 42 new restrictions worldwide. The report highlighted previous instances where access to major social media platforms was restricted, coupled with temporary disruptions to cellular networks across the country.
The Surfshark report positioned Pakistan behind Iran and India as one of the leading countries imposing internet restrictions in the first half of 2023. Asia emerged as the focal point for most internet shutdowns during this period.