Here is How Pakistan Can Deal with Facebook, Whatsapp and Others

A few weeks ago, defamatory and fake images were circulated on social media about the Chief Justice of Pakistan and as a result Ch. Nisar Ahmed, Interior Minister, ordered FIA to nab the culprits to set an example.

FIA made some arrests but it couldn’t get a hold of the originator of the images or the person who initiated the campaign.

Those who were arrested pointed out to social media accounts from where they had copied the images. FIA, as per its SOPs, made a request to Facebook to handover the information of such posters which was declined.

As you would expect, Ch. Nisar was furious over the matter and said that the refusal by American officials and Facebook management was disappointing.

He was further quoted as saying that “international companies cannot be allowed to make controversies out of our important people”.

As per Facebook’s policies, free speech is an important matter and anyone is allowed to say anything as long as it does not fall under hate speech. And this is exactly why it declined to handover the information to Pakistani authorities.

These policies, that have been there for years now, were finally communicated to Ch. Nisar to which he said “We will not allow defamation and false accusations on social media in the name of free speech”.

He also hinted about the launch of local versions of Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter etc.

This makes one wonder why Ch. Nisar didn’t react like this when Facbeook allowed “Draw Mohammad Day” in the name of speech. Or if put in other words, why was Mr. Nisar expecting anything at all from Facebook when it has “Free Speech” argument to use in such situations?

Was it the fact that it was against a Chief Minister that triggered Ch. Nisar and made him angry? Why doesn’t he have such an extreme reaction when blasphemous content is posted on Facebook and is not removed or posters’ information is not shared in the name of “free speech”?

So this is what Government of Pakistan can do (we proposed the same in year 2010):

Option 1

  • You will have to go with Facebook’s terms, agree with it or don’t use it.
  • You simply can not bind Facebook to comply with your local laws, unless you are so huge that their business is impacted with your decisions
  • If you think your user-base if huge and Facebook is indeed going to face trouble as a result of your decisions, then go ahead and speak with them face to face
  • Get beyond emails and work on diplomacy and lobby with concerned people and make relations with Facebook so it may listen to you
  • Take the matter to American courts, this is where Facebook will be liable to listen to you (MoIT once thought of it but never did it)
  • Speak with US government but since you are indebted to them in so many ways, we understand you can’t discuss anything with US government on equal standing

Option 2

  • Since we brag about immense talent in Pakistani people, why not invest on them and let them make our own Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp?
  • Let these talented Pakistanis make tools that are so rich that they are not only used in Pakistan but other countries could also adopt them
  • This way you will not only get local laws implemented on social media, but you can actually get billions of dollars flowing into Pakistan
  • This way you also get to retain your information with-in your hands, instead of giving it away to CIA or other American agencies (through these international companies).

But then again, you can not expect anything from people who thrive on corruption and who only think of how to mint money instead of developing the human resource potential of the nation.

Then there is option 3

  • Ban entire social media
  • Earn a lot of bad press
  • then re-open after few weeks, months, or years
  • Repeat option 3 whenever needed

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • None of these three options would b implemented in Pakistan. But most favourite for Government is Option 3. Other than that Government can’t even think of Option 1 or 2 for a second.

  • Just punish those who are found involved, n have a special cell to investigate about such rubbish things.

    • How will you punish them when they do not live in Pakistan nor will they ever visit Pakistan? You want to send ISI team to their countries to kidnap them and bring them here for trial?

  • Where else would I go and read about the Shia dominance, Deobani starlets , Sunni illuminati , Qadri “Shaheed” (fml), Important lectures from MPA Jhangvi jr over “peaceful” life lessons.. And my favorite.. “Share karain megar Shaytan ap ko roky ga” the following is probably the snapshot of the meeting where Mr Nisar would further dictate the digital footprint of Pakistan going forward…

  • To reach on this kind of intellectual level, Ch & Co will have to take ages. And for the time-being, they are more interested in getting rid of PANAMA’s kambal.

  • More useless misdirection from ProPakistan.

    admin asks: This makes one wonder why Ch. Nisar didn’t react like this when Facbeook allowed “Draw Mohammad Day” in the name of speech.

    The answer is so simple it will amaze you. Draw Muhammad Day was in 2010. Chaudry Nisar was not the Minister of Interior back then. He was in National Assembly in the opposition benches.

    So I will through this back at admin: why are you back on Facebook if you feel so strongly about the issue? Why do you use disqus service for comments when you know that Muslim-unfriendly sites also use Disqus and Disqus allows anti-Islam and anti-Muslim comments?

    First fix yourself, then point imaginary fingers at others.

    • Delete them from your phone. That’s it, you’re done.

      Don’t forget to delete web browsers as well since blasphemy is not restricted to social media sites but also individual web pages, wikipedia, youtube, reddit, soundcloud, netflix, amazon prime video, iflix, etc etc.

  • It’s cute that so many people think that Pakistanis can simply create their own alternative services for Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter etc. I know Aamir’s suggestion was more sarcastic than serious, but a lot of people here seem to be taking it at face value.

    Bottom line is that you just can’t police the internet, and with these newer encryption schemes like Signal (like being used by WhatsApp), even these companies themselves don’t have all the information on what communication is taking place.

    If getting all this detailed information about people were so simple via these services, you think security agencies like CIA, NSA or FBI would have to jump through so many hoops and actively look for backdoors into tech?

  • Nice Article Team Pro Pakistani. But all these people holding Pro Positions in Pakistan are actually empty minded. From Last One year have suggested one of the big telco in Pakistan for support on Paki Watsapp but they didnt respond till yet.

  • Seriously.. these are your suggestions??
    The fourth option can be to ask FB, Whatsapp to operate in Pakistan only if they have a local presence.. This has two advantages..

    1. They will come under tax net which means for all Pakistani advertisement deals they have to pay tax.
    2. Once they have local presence you can ask them for a local customized policy.. Obviously they will not change their full policy for us but for example a lot such pages can be blocked locally and people can be tracked too.. All over world law enforcement agencies use fb to track criminals.. In Pakistan Namoos-e-Risalat is a part of law so we can use fb to track the perpetrators if FB have local presence.. One more example, because google has a local presence in India in google maps Kashmir is shown as indian territory..

    And yes i know you will reply that what makes me so sure they will do that.. My friend i am not saying FB runs on Pakistani money but they must be earning good money from advertisement and again loosing a good chunk of active users and along with them a lot of advertisement deals might just make them do it.. Even if they open in a room in Korangi with one employee posing as FB Regional Manager :D..

  • Hey All ProPakistani guys, give slangs and all Galiaan you know to this Guy- ayhmdnowaz , as its NO-Issue- He learned how to live with issues and differences

  • Another option is to trace those people. Use help of ethical hackers ‘for good’ to get info about those Aholes posting blasphemous content and catch them.

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