Asia - Pacific

Pakistan asks Twitter to take action against fake news

Telecom authority points out spreading of untrue stories against Pakistan, its cities and institutions on platform

Islamuddin Sajid   | 22.10.2020
Pakistan asks Twitter to take action against fake news

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan 

Pakistan on Thursday asked Twitter to take "immediate action" against accounts spreading false information against the country.

The development comes amid absurd claims by prominent handles on social media as well as mainstream news media from India of a "civil war-like" situation in the southern metropolis of Karachi.

"In the wake of current smear campaign of spreading false and baseless information targeting Pakistan, its cities and institutions, PTA has stressed upon Twitter to effectively block handles involved in the campaign," the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority said in a statement.

Emphasizing that number of accounts involved in the propagation of untrue stories were verified, the telecom authority called for action as per its "guidelines and policies."

On Wednesday, several Indian media outlets reported about imaginary gun battles between rival forces on the streets of Karachi after the arrest of Mohammad Safdar, an opposition leader and son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

The reports stemmed from Tuesday's events when several top police officers of Sindh province applied for leave in protest against "ridicule" of high command vis-à-vis registration of a case against Safdar.

Pakistan's human rights minister also criticized Twitter for ignoring Indian propaganda against her country.

"Indian media in hyper drive with fake news on Pakistan & unfortunate that @TwitterSupport delib ignoring! Facebook also indulging Indian propaganda & hate posts! Similarly Islamophobia rampant but heaven forbid if any word said implying even a querying comment on holocaust," Shireen Mazari tweeted.

Earlier this year, Twitter updated its policy on manipulated media, and started putting warning messages on tweets containing misleading information about coronavirus.

The social media giant has time and again removed hundreds of accounts involved in disinformation campaigns. Such content is posted more often ahead of elections or during socio-political events of public importance.

*With additional input from News Desk in Ankara

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