There seems to be a curious lockdown on most social media brewing in Pakistan–and its one that casts Facebook in a positive light for a change. It’s curious because the Pakistani government isn’t shutting out all social media. While blocking Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Wikipedia, the nation is still allowing access to Twitter.
MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka writes:
The Pakistani government is trying to block some of the planet’s most popular Web sites, including Facebook, Google’s YouTube, Yahoo’s Flickr, and Wikipedia. Twitter is still okay–for now, apparently.
Meanwhile, MSNBC’s Helen A.S. Popkin points out how this kind of protest and censorship especially puts Facebook’s privacy issues in perspective.
Still, why the lockdown? Kafka has a theory about that too:
The moves are a reaction to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,” which is a reaction to Muslim protests about an episode of South Park last month.
So why isn’t the nation cutting off Twitter? Well, unlike many of the other services cut off, Twitter as an entity has never been too politically vocal. The microblogging service has maintained relevance by never taking sides, opting to provide a platform for others, not themselves.
However, there might be a precedent too. Controversial political figures like Hugo Chavez have demonstrated that Twitter can play a role in their agendas too. And perhaps it’s a similar goal that prevents the Pakistani government from ruling out the effectiveness of Twitter entirely.