It won’t be incorrect to say that over the past few years, social media has gained immense power. In fact, social media could be counted as an important weapon of fifth-generation warfare, which can easily be being used to destabilize societies and create anarchy in countries.
Owing to the immense reach and power of social media, PTI government has announced measures to control the unleashed dog of social media in Pakistan. Along with introducing one, unified regulatory body for press and electronic media in Pakistan, the government will be broadening its reach and adding social media in it as well. According to Fawad Chaudhary, information minister Pakistan, the government plans to launch Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority to act as a watchdog over press, electronic and social media in Pakistan.
A ‘zero tolerance’ policy for the use of abusive language was also issued by the PTI government which would result in immediate blocking of the accounts using profanities online.
Even if this happens, the PTI government will not be the first to impose restrictions on the use of social media in Pakistan. Earlier in 2017, Nawaz government also issued orders for monitoring of social media due to the increased amount of anti-government sentiments and the use of social media as a tool to malign national institutions and spread anarchy or extremism in the country. The then government cited “Social media was being used as a deadly weapon “to discredit and destroy leaderships and state institutions and promote conflicts through fake news,” before taking upon regulatory actions for the control of social media in the country.
In times like today, social media has definitely gotten out of control. Under the coined term of “freedom of expression,” a lot of hate speech and propaganda regarding people, policies, governments and other issues is spread. Social media influencers, with huge number of followers do what they please and in turn cause harm to the institutions of an establishment.
With so much outrage and hate out there, what do you think about the reforms the government tends to introduce regarding social media? Do you think this uncontrollable dog deserves to be on a leash or at least have some to watch over it and reduce the damage it can unknowingly cause? And even though the government has already made its announcement, a solid order still needs to come out.