Sunday, June 8, 2014

Hate Speech in Pakistan and Misplaced Priorities in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Facebook has blocked the popular page of a liberal Pakistani rock band and others that criticise the Taliban, allegedly at the request of the government. Rock band “Laal” was formed in 2007 and their Facebook page has more than 400,000 likes, with users frequently joining debates on issues ranging from feminism to the role of the army in politics. But it has been inaccessible to users from inside Pakistan since Wednesday. Other pages like “Pakistani.meem” which describes itself as pro-democracy and secularism and “Taalibansarezalimans” have similarly been blocked in recent days. “Facebook didn’t even inform us. I realised when I noticed no activity on our page,” Taimur Rahman, Laal’s lead guitarist, said. Facebook confirmed the move on Friday, saying Laal’s page had been blocked inside Pakistan at Islamabad’s request, under an agreement to limit access to “material that violates local laws”. A Facebook spokeswoman said: “While we never remove this type of content from the site entirely, like most internet services, we may restrict people from accessing it in the countries where it is determined to be illegal. “Before we restrict the content, we take significant steps to investigate each unique claim, consult with local counsel and other experts in the country, and will only remove content in the most limited way possible,” she added. According to a page on Facebook that deals with government requests, 162 pieces of content were restricted for viewership inside Pakistan between July and December 2013. “We restricted access in Pakistan to a number of pieces of content primarily reported by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority and the Ministry of Information Technology under local laws prohibiting blasphemy and criticism of the state,” the page says. Pakistan blocked YouTube in 2012 following the release of a film that was critical of Islam. Websites for Baloch separatist movements are also banned. Shahzad Ahmad, director of the Bytes For All organisation that campaigns for free speech, said: “The is a mass murder of free speech in Pakistan.” Yasser Latif Hamdani, a lawyer, added: “This is a grave mistake by Facebook. Also for the Pakistani government to make such requests is illegal and unconstitutional.” Pakistan’s agreement with Facebook came to light last year when a senior official from the PTA was summoned by the Lahore High Court in a case concerning the YouTube ban, but its terms have not been made public. Reference: Rock band’s Facebook page blocked at govt request By AFP

Banning Dr. Taimur Rahman and Others in Pakistan (Awaam - 7th June 2014)


Banning Dr. Taimur Rahman & Others in Pakistan... by SalimJanMazari

 LAHORE: Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said here on Sunday that the ban on YouTube would be lifted soon because a software had been developed for blocking content that hurt people’s sentiments. The video sharing website was blocked in September 2012 after its administration and Google Incorporation refused to comply with a request by Pakistan and some other Muslim countries to remove a blasphemous video from the site. About the demand for checking broadcast of foreign content by some private TV channels, Mr Rashid asked civil society, owners of media houses and professionals to come up with proposals for resolving the issue because any step taken by the government could be construed as an attempt to gag the media. He said that he feared that discretionary powers could open the door to misuse of authority by officials. REFERENCE: YouTube ban to be lifted soon By The Newspaper's Staff Reporter Published Mar 17, 2014

Ansar Abbasi and  GEO TV on Swat Girl Flogging

Ansar Abbasi & GEO TV & Swat Girl Flogging by SalimJanMazari

Recently the Media Regulatory Authority in Pakistan PEMRA has slapped a ban on GEO TV and subsequently the GEO TV sued Ministry of Defence and ISI , Only in Pakistan that Journalists and Media Houses Obstruct Access to Information and not only that they hurl command as to what should Pakistanis read, watch and listen and the same Media Group raise hue and cry when they are at receiving end . 2012 On Saturday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority directed local Internet service providers to make YouTube accessible. But by the afternoon, Geo, a private television news network that wields immense influence, reported that anti-Islam and blasphemous material was still available on YouTube. The criticism was led by Ansar Abbasi, a right-leaning journalist who often speaks out on morality and religion. Yielding to the criticism, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf then ordered providers to again block access to the video-sharing site. The flip-flop drew an immediate rebuke from users and led to a flurry of jokes on Twitter about the government’s dithering and backtracking. “YouTube is a huge convenience for users, who benefit from it for educational as well as entertainment purposes,” Zubair Kasuri, the editor of Flare, a Karachi-based telecommunications magazine, said in a telephone interview. Mr. Kasuri expressed surprise over the government’s failure to install an effective firewall mechanism despite having months to do so.
Quite an Irony that Pakistan Telecommunication Authority doesn't object on several venom spitting sectarian websites in Pakistan but suggest rather arbitrary ban Harmless Laal , Taimur Rahman and many other and even more amazing that Fedral IT Minister Ms Anusha Rahman suggestion that Council Of Islamic Ideology must be consulted on You Tube Ban whereas the same Council also encourages Child Marriage and if we accept Anusha's argument then we must also follow CII on Child Marriage in letter and spirit

Taliban Journalists of Pakistan

Taliban Journalists of Pakistan by SalimJanMazari

Several activists questioned why Facebook had not blocked other Pakistani pages that incite sectarian violence, religious extremism or hatred against minorities. As examples, they pointed to pages administrated by supporters of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, a notorious sectarian groups that has supported attacks on Shiites; the sectarian militant group Lashkar e Jhangvi;and the Red Mosque, where a violent stand-off between extremists and government forces in 2007 left over 100 people dead, and where a recently opened library is named for Osama bin Laden. “These pro-Taliban pages are spewing hatred, and we are the people they shut down,” said Mr. Taimur Rahman , the singer. “It’s insanity.” REFERENCE: Facebook Under Fire for Temporarily Blocking Pages in Pakistan By DECLAN WALSH and SALMAN MASOODJUNE 6, 2014

How Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain AND GEO TV Incited Masses (BBC Urdu)

How Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain & GEO TV Incited... by SalimJanMazari

Pakistan Hate Speech Report 2014 by Bytes For All Bytes for All : URL : “Hate speech: A study of Pakistan’s cyberspace

Jang Group and GEO TV Murdered Salman Taseer (Abbas Athar BBC)

Jang Group & GEO TV Murdered Salman Taseer... by SalimJanMazari

 ’یہ قاتل میڈیا ہے‘ آخری وقت اشاعت: پير 10 جنوری 2011

Karachi, June 07, 2014: The uncontrolled spread of hate speech on the Internet and social media is reaching dangerous levels, threatening society on many levels. The first detailed research into online hate speech in the Pakistan context – “Hate speech: A study of Pakistan’s cyberspace” – was launched today at Avari Towers, in Karachi. Jahanzaib Haque, Editor, and author of the 63-page study presented the principle findings and recommendations, which consisted of two independent phases of research - an online survey on hate speech responded to by 559 Pakistani Internet users, as well as a detailed content analysis of published material and comments – both textual and iconographic – on high impact, high reach Facebook pages and Twitter accounts frequented by local audiences. [Key findings can be found on page 2 below]. Haque says “The need for such a study was paramount, given the real world impact online hate speech is having in Pakistan, whether that be the well-organized anti-Malala campaign online, how social media fueled sectarian divides during the Rawalpindi riots, the arrest of a professor on grounds of alleged blasphemy for posts run on Facebook, and even the most recent online campaign of hate against media persons. Clearly the issue needs to be addressed, but without regressive action such as state-led censorship and bans.” The event was attended by parliamentarians, leading media practitioners, journalists, human rights activists, civil society, researchers and major stakeholders in the online space. A panel discussion on the issue included Ch. Muhammad Sarfaraz, Deputy Director FIA, Cyber Crime Circle Lahore, Senator Saeed Ghani, Pakistan People's Party Parliamentarian (PPP-P), Faisal Sherjan, Director Strategy and Planning at Jang Group, Barrister Salahuddin Ahmed, President, Karachi Bar Association, and Gul Bukhari, B4A Gender Programme Manager. “We at Bytes for All hold Freedom of Expression very dear as an inviolable fundamental human right, but often see it being fettered in false paradigms of morality, security, national interest or even hate speech,” says Shahzad Ahmad, Country Director, Bytes for All Pakistan. “For the reason that speech is regularly gagged in Pakistan under these guises, and the fact that hate speech is the only real threat to Freedom of Expression, we felt it important to study online hate speech in Pakistan, to define it using the best standards, and obtain some idea of its incidence in the country. This is important to ensure hate speech becomes clearly defined, and not confused with national security, religious sentiment, morality or decency.” Ahmad further adds that, “We are proud to say this study is the first of its kind in Pakistan, and will form the basis for many more such studies to take this important work further. Much work in the coming years has to be done in this area to ensure that this threat does not impinge upon the freedoms we hold so dear.” REFERENCE: Press Release: Bytes For All launches Hate Speech: A study of Pakistan’s cyberspace posted by Admin on Sat, 06/07/2014 - 14:19

No comments: