Govt to launch crackdown against hate speech on social media: Chaudhry

Information minister says people will not be allowed to spread extremist narrative on social media


ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Wednesday that the government has prepared a mechanism to control hate speech on social media and there would be a strict crackdown from next week.

“We have to a great extent regularized hate speech on formal media. I am thankful for the cooperation of the formal media on this. I am happy to tell you that in the next step we have prepared a mechanism in which we will be able to control hate speech on social media,” Chaudhry said while addressing an event. 

The minister said a working group of security agencies including the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) determined the capability of fake accounts spreading hate speech on social media. “Our problem right now is that digital media is taking over formal media. It was important for us to regularize this.”

Chaudhry added that the government was bringing a new authority – Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority which would be a one window operation to enforce regulations for the digital, print and electronic media. “The larger problem is with the informal media, not the formal media. There is a need to build a capacity in which social media can be monitored, fake accounts traced and give out punishment to those violating the law.”

According to Chaudhry important arrests had been made this week on the basis of using social media to give fatwas and spread their extremist narrative. “In the next and coming weeks, you will see there will be a strict crackdown on this. People will not be allowed to give their extremist narrative on social media.”

The information minister emphasized that the government wanted dialogue but this could not happen if the other did not allow it.