KARACHI: The Twitter account of Punjab chief minister’s spokesperson Dr Shahbaz Gill was suspended on Saturday by the micro-blogging site.

Upon visiting the handle @ShabazGill — followed by nearly 48,000 people — a notification ‘Account suspended’ appears. The error notification states the account has been suspended “for violating Twitter rules”.

According to Twitter’s website, accounts may be suspended for violation of rules. Common reasons for suspension include spam, account security at risk, and abusive tweets or behaviour. Twitter suspends accounts that are fake or because of spam content which introduces security risks for the platform and its users.

“If we suspect an account has been hacked or compromised, we may suspend it until it can be secured and restored to the account owner in order to reduce potentially malicious activity caused by the compromise,” Twitter explains on its website.

Another reason which can lead to suspension of accounts is if it has been reported to Twitter for violating its rules surrounding abuse. While the reason behind Dr Gill’s account suspension is unclear, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s official account requested the platform to look into the matter.

“@Twitter - Dr Shahbaz Gill - Official spokesperson of Chief Minister Punjab @UsmanAKBuzdar , his account has been suspended when there was NO violation of any Twitter policy or rules. Would request twitter to look into it and lift the suspension immediately. @verified,” it tweeted.

Mr Gill said his account had been hacked and the hackers also changed the associated email. “I am neither able to retrieve my account nor change its password,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019

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