Twitter urged to block posts against judiciary

Published April 14, 2021
The Pakistan Telecom­munication Authority (PTA) has directed Twitter to immediately block and remove malicious “trends and tweets” vilifying superior judiciary of the country.  — AP/File
The Pakistan Telecom­munication Authority (PTA) has directed Twitter to immediately block and remove malicious “trends and tweets” vilifying superior judiciary of the country. — AP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecom­munication Authority (PTA) has directed Twitter to immediately block and remove malicious “trends and tweets” vilifying superior judiciary of the country.

“Twitter has particularly been informed that the presence of such content and trends does not come under the definition of freedom of expression and hence must be taken down instantly as ‘Contempt of Court’ is one of the categories that holds high priority for the Authority,” a statement issued by the PTA said.

However, it is unlikely that such a request or any warning of this nature will be taken up by the major social media platform, as they maintain that they abide by their ethical standards and laws of the host country.

The social media platform has also been directed to effectively and expeditiously respond to PTA’s requests for removal of illegal and harmful online content to avoid any legal action.

The PTA has also issued a statement saying the authority remains committed to facilitating and supporting digital platforms provided they comply with laws of the land.

PTA says putting content on internet, social media against superior courts is unlawful

The telecom sector regulator has been reprimanded in several courts for failing to implement the laws that bar criticism of the judiciary, especially after recent political developments.

Similarly, the judiciary was dragged in a debate by warring parties related to women march.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the PTA, speaking on the subject, said that international social media companies took excuse behind several reasons.

The officer added that the social media rules notified in November 2020 were under litigation.

Moreover, the PTA has also forwarded a public service message to all telecom consumers that uploading and sharing of content on internet and/or social media platforms against the superior judiciary or which invokes contempt of the court is unlawful.

The regulator has asked the telecom consumers in Pakistan to report all such links to it so that these links could be blocked.

Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021

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