PTA Threatened Twitter with Shutdown Notice. Who Cares?

Twitter- The Free Speech Platform
Courtesy: Hyper Text

I am personally against the hate-speech and abusive content (personally and on social sites such as Facebook and Twitter), but it doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should align their thoughts with mine.

Does Pakistan’s Verdict Matter? 

Pakistan’s authorities need to understand that social media platforms do not confine to the rules and regulations of the country. These platforms provide freedom of expression in the fullest means without bounding it with other labels, such as “hate-speech”, “derogatory remarks”, and “abusive content”. 

Social media policies are based on the concept of free speech.
Courtesy: NDTV

We are not the champions of human rights, tycoon of economic power, and icon of development, we are just a developing country who is hoping to cherish Information Technology sector in this digital age. Such actions are not necessary at all, because social media is the biggest platform of marketing these days and restricting any of it will have its ramifications – unprecedented and obvious.

Have Such Call of Actions Were a Successful Attempt in Past? 

Seeing the ban on Facebook and YouTube in the past, the answer is a big NO. The pressure from the society who wore earning money through Vlogs and videos, as well as the peers who thought YouTube a great platform for free-learning caused the authorities to uplift the ban. However, they told us a great joke, “YouTube agreed to block the videos as per the request of PTA.” 

PTA banned YouTube in 2014
Courtesy: Jafria News

Wasn’t it already in the community guidelines of YouTube policy. It restricts the access of any video to a particular country, if the legal issues are concerned. It is a noteworthy point that YouTube did not remove that video rather restricted the access only in Pakistan. 

It could have happened by requesting them. What was the reason for ban? A flare attempt, I guess just to prove that the authority is working.

It is also noteworthy fact that the ramification caused the freelancers a big blow. It affected their business and for a long time, they were unable to interact with their fans. It might be a what’s-the-big-deal for PTA, but a huge loss for YouTubers. The same thing happened with Facebook ban.

What’s the Fault of Entrepreneurs Freelancers?  

I can’t seem to understand the point of such threats to the giant companies which are benefiting the individuals as well. Obviously, business is business, and they are earning through us. However, a large population is also earning by this platform. They are getting either the side-earning, or their bread and butter depends on it.  

I remember the song of Ali Gul Pir on this issue, who with other YouTubers and social activist launched the song “Ban Khol”. It resonates the reaction of public figures who are dependent on social media – the platform that gave them popularity. 

Is Twitter not Popular in Pakistan? 

Well, in my experience, trends and tweets speaks the volume of its popularity. I am sure PTA must be having its official account on Twitter. People are turning from Facebook to Twitter because of the “Fake News” issue. Since Twitter has official verified accounts and tweets and trends provides ease to check the facts and opinions of different reputed and official people. 

Total number of Twitter users in Pakistan
Courtesy: Dawn

It is a one-stop buzz for the people. Also, marketing and sponsored contents are also running here. If not, why all media channels, especially the news channels share updates consistently on this platform. If it is such an unpopular business, why the tweets are shared as “memes” on Facebook? Either the authorities are missing it, or they are not aware of the power of social media platforms – everything is important.

Totally agreed with Fawad Chaudhry’s statement

Fawad Chaudhry, the information secretary of PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf) gave a bold and straight-forward opinion against the PTA’s threatening notification to Twitter. To Dawn News correspondent, he said: 

“Those who do not wish to see objectionable and offensive content should not search for such content. Social media is not just for recreation and entertainment. There are jobs and households associated with the business. Blocking social media websites will have both social and economic impacts.” 

Thank you, Mr. Chaudhry, your statement depicts yourself as a credible person for the future Minister of Information and Technology. A sector which has been ignored for decades, deserves the energetic, young, and charismatic person like that, who knows the importance of IT, social media platform, and e-commerce businesses.  

Direction to Choose?

I stated my verdict and pointed out the flaws before you. It is your turn now. Obviously, what is the point of banning a thing which is immoral and unethical. If we, the Pakistanis, are that moral and respectable, we will surely be not searching for it. Think as being a Muslim, who would think of searching for blasphemous content.

Twitter policies promote free speech
Courtesy: Sam Ambreen

Think as being a responsible citizen, who would think of bashing their institution for no-reason. It is true in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “An unjust law is no law at all.” For that purpose, it is the right of the citizen even duty to raise concerns; otherwise, who would think of accusing anyone. If the authorities think the accusations are wrong, take such people to court as we do have cybercrime laws.

Why everything boils down to banning or shutting down? We have so much other options. Just think of it.