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PTI Announces Action Against Abusive Party Supporters On Social Media

Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari reiterated the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) commitment to action against abusive party supporters on social media, saying the ‘party’s social media has always had zero-tolerance’ for such individuals.

Sharing screenshots of old posts by PTI’s official account to corroborate her stance, Mazari said the party has always been committed to rooting out the abusive elements from its ranks.

She also requested the ‘PTI leaders or office-bearers who may be following an abusive account on Twitter or Facebook to unfollow’ the said accounts.

She said the complaints of abuse can be sent to [email protected] for action against the culprits.

Responding to the measures announced by the ruling PTI, journalist Fareeha said: “After women digital abuse statement,@PTIofficial takes a step we welcome. It will be great to have transparency in social media wings as well. All political parties should follow with similar action. #AttacksWontSilenceUs.”

Women journalists seek action against abusive PTI supporters:

In Aug this year, Pakistani women journalists called upon the government to hold accountable the perpetrators of vicious hate attacks directed at them through social media.

In a statement issued by a 16-strong group of journalists, they had said: “The target of these attacks are women with differing viewpoints and those whose reports have been critical of the PTI government and more specifically its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.”

They had stated that the attacks were making it ‘incredibly difficult’ for them to carry out their professional duties.

The statement had said that the online attacks were instigated by government officials and then amplified by a large number of Twitter accounts, ‘which declare their affiliation to the ruling party’.

According to the declaration, personal details of women journalists and analysts had been made public as part of a ‘well-defined and coordinated campaign’ while in some cases, their pictures and videos had also been ‘morphed’.

In addition, they were referred to as peddlers of ‘fake news’, ‘enemy of the people’ and accused of taking bribes in order to discredit and intimidate the journalists, it had said. The statement had said the persons involved in the campaign also targeted the journalists for their gender, posting gender-based slurs and threats of sexual and physical violence on their social media timelines.

“Lately, there have also been attempts to hack into the social media accounts of reporters and analysts, as well as limit [their] access to information,” it had added, noting that women were finding it ‘increasingly difficult’ to remain on social media platforms and engage freely, while many were forced to self-censor.

“We are being prevented from exercising our right to free speech and participate in public discourse,” the journalists had said, calling it a violation of Article 19.

The statement had said that the women journalists do not enjoy the protection of the law against the online attacks and threats and this is the direct result of the actions of those who hold positions in government and are affiliated with the PTI.


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