You may have noticed that Pinterest has not been accessible. Many Pinterest users took to Twitter, initially saying that the site wasn’t accessible on ACT Fibernet connections. According to a report by the Economic Times, the visual bookmarking platform has been blocked by internet service provider ACT Fibernet.
Other users too, have said on Twitter that the site has been blocked as per the instructions of the "competent government authority in compliance to the orders of Court of Law".
ACT Fibernet told ET that the website was blocked following an order from the Madras High Court. The order came in July last year to block around 225 sites. This list includes sites providing torrents, illegal downloads, and unsuitable content, and a few forum sites.
"The order has been issued to all Internet Service Providers across India. The websites will remain blocked till we get further notification/order from the honourable High Court to activate these sites." the spokesperson told ET.
As per the report, 169 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were directed by the Madras High Court, in an interim order, to block 225 "rogue websites indulging in online piracy and infringement of copyright". This came after movie producer Kalaipuli S Thanu filed a petition to block access to these websites.
These websites were blocked to restrict any illegal downloads of Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali. However, ET reported that it wasn’t able to find the specific judgement at the time of writing the article.
Some of the websites in the list are filmsmaza.in, watchonlinemoviz.com, hdmoviez.me, greeksubtitles.us and dvdmob.com.
However, Pinterest is not like any of the types of sites mentioned above. Neither is it rogue, nor does it provide illegal downloads. It is purely an online bulletin board.
But this is not something that’s new to India. In the past, several websites like Google Docs and its URL shortener goo.gl, code sharing service Github, domain seller BuyDomains, and image sharing website Imgur have been blocked following court orders. Unlike a Piratebay or Songspk, these websites had no illegal downloads or questionable content.
It now remains to be seen what Pinterest needs to do and by when it manages to get itself unblocked.