Misuse of social media must be stopped: Nisar asks Facebook

 
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Islamabad, July 7 (TNS): Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan met Facebook vice president Joel Kaplan on Friday and discussed various steps and actions being taken to remove blasphemous content, the ministry said in a statement.

The senior member of the Facebook’s management dealing with global public policy was in Pakistan to discuss the way forward in addressing the misuse of social media platforms, especially Facebook, which has more than 33 million users in the country.

Nisar said that the entire Muslim Ummah was “greatly disturbed” and has serious concerns over the misuse of social media platforms to propagate blasphemous content. “Nothing is more sacred to us than our religion and our holy personalities,” he said.

Nisar said: “We appreciate the understanding shown by the Facebook administration and the cooperation being extended to us on these issues.”

The minister said Pakistan is playing a proactive role in engaging internet service providers and finding solutions to the issue of misuse of social media, the ministry spokesperson said.

This included convening a special meeting of the ambassadors of Muslim countries in March on a single point agenda — blasphemous content on social media and how to effectively the raise voice of the entire Muslim world.

Kaplan told Nisar that Facebook has recently launched a digital literacy campaign, iChamp, which aims to touch secondary schools on a mass scale across Pakistan in order to educate youth on the benefits and safe use of internet.

He said that the programme will be supported by Facebook’s Free Basic project, which provides free access to dozens of websites. Covering 76 districts across all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, an estimated 600,000 students will be trained by experts through Free Basics with free handbooks and other resources.

Kaplan also said that Facebook, on its part, has reiterated its commitment to keep the platform safe and promote values that are in congruence with its community standards. He said the social media site is also committed to removing fake accounts, and explicit, hateful and provocative material that incites violence and terrorism, the ministry’s statement said.