ISLAMABAD: Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday that a comprehensive strategy should be prepared within three days to curb character assassination through social media.

He directed the ministry officials to evolve such a system in consultation with the Pakistan Telecommu­nication Authority that there was no curb on the freedom of expression, but at the same time no one should be able to misuse this right.

A statement issued here said that the Federal Investigation Agency had presented a report to Chaudhry Nisar about defamation of a high-level judicial personality through a “fake” picture on social media.

The minister expressed his annoyance over refusal by the Facebook administration to provide required information. The United States government was also contacted in this regard.

“It seems that social media was working under freedom to lie rather than freedom of expression,” he said. Chaudhry Nisar said it was regrettable that Facebook administration and American officials were not realising the sensitivity of the matter.

He said that neither a foreign company under its policy of freedom of expression would be allowed to make any high-profile personality controversial nor had anyone the right to use social media for character assassination.

The minister directed that the management of social media companies should be contacted to introduce local versions of Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and it should also be ensured that spread of controversial material about anybody’s character was effectively prevented.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2017

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