The devastating state of Pakistan due to a complete internet blackout.Millions of People Victims of Social Media Shutdowns / The World of Digital Information
Pakistan’s decision to shut down its internet and social media platforms has caused chaos and destruction among its citizens, leaving millions disabled. Following the arrest of Imran Khan on Tuesday, the Pakistani government shut down mobile data and major social media apps such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. According to data collected by Pro Pakistan, the telecom operator faces a loss of his PKR 1.64 billion in revenue, while the government suffers a loss of tax revenue of around PKR 573 million.
Everything has stopped since mobile internet censorship. Taxi services such as InDrive, Uber, Careem and Bykea, delivery services such as Foodpanda, restaurants, freelance and remote employees and employers, and online education for students were among the hardest hit. Extremely devastating impact on 160,000 ride-hailing drivers and passengers, over 12,000 home chefs and restaurants, including ride-hailing platforms, and almost 500,000 digital freelancers trying to support themselves gave
Additionally, 90,000 POS vendors, 6,000 e-commerce stores and 42,483,573 mobile wallets have also been victims of this forced shutdown. This will cause millions of people who rely heavily on these apps and resources to survive every day to lose their daily income, and losing these resources indefinitely will cost these millions more. Too big for a person to recover. Not only that, but you may not find any other option to go through with this situation.
Most major urban roads have been blocked, limiting access to hospitals and causing extensive damage across the country. The arrest of the political leader sparked almost immediate nationwide protests. Videos of the protests and arrests went viral. The shutdown, which was implemented to quell public resistance, was the worst shutdown the country has experienced so far. With immobilized patients unable to access healthcare and freelancers unable to access markets and resources, the entire country sits empty-handed.
Furthermore, since the COVID-19 pandemic, online learning has become a regular occurrence. The shutdown has hit thousands of higher and secondary education institutions that were conducting online classes for their students. Social media blocks have cut off the way millions of people and countless businesses connect online. Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok provided citizens with the opportunity to earn an incredible income, but are now out of reach due to new internet regulations, making these platforms the primary source of income for themselves and their families. Influencing millions of Pakistani content creators who were
The protests have been going on for the past few days, but the lack of connectivity has not posed any obstacles or problems for the protesters. The real victims of this indefinite loss of data connectivity are workers, students, freelancers, riders, drivers, and more. In this digital age, citizens rely heavily on the availability of these apps and connections to earn their livelihoods and gain support. You can dream, find opportunities, and make connections. The government shutdown will only cause more uncertainty, discomfort, devastation and confusion among the Pakistani people. However, the PTA claimed it would soon restore internet service, but failed to explain what it had achieved by blocking the domestic internet.
For most of this generation, it’s the first time for most of this generation to know when Internet service will be restored and restrictions on social media sites will be lifted. Today, the need for these resources is greater than ever, taking a toll on the country’s underclass. They have taken the initiative to build their own income streams to support their families and children, support their education, and everything in between. At this time, no one knows the future of this closure and the restoration of valuable resources. In an already sluggish economy, it is very unsettling to see the economy worsen due to these restrictions.
This is not only tragic and unfortunate, it is a direct violation of the human rights of Pakistanis. The shutdown proved to be an unnecessary, inappropriate and harmful response to the political issue at hand. Not only has this caused enormous economic losses, but it has also affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of people who rely on online connectivity to function. The government needs to realize this and lift restrictions everywhere immediately to alleviate the suffering of the Pakistani people and prevent further economic loss.
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