Punjab Govt Asks Interior Ministry to Suspend Social Media Platforms During Muharram

Fri Jul 05 2024
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LAHORE: The Punjab government has asked the interior ministry to temporarily suspend several social media platforms from 6th to 11th Muharram to curb the spread of hate speech and misinformation to maintain law and order in the province.

Sources close to the decision-making process revealed that the move goes beyond previous measures of internet suspension and mobile jamming on Ashura, citing concerns over external elements influence involved in disseminating hate material.

The Standing Committee of Cabinet on Law and Order (SCCLO) and the Punjab Home Department thought that despite internet shutdowns, social media apps remained a key channel for spreading misinformation, necessitating their temporary closure.

Following a meeting of the SCCLO on Thursday, the Home Department wrote a letter to the secretary of the interior ministry requesting “social media platforms — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter etc. — be suspended across the province from Muharram 6 to 11 to control misinformation, hate material, and to avoid sectarian violence.

Acknowledging the challenges posed by hate content, Minister Syed Ashiq Hussain Kirmani highlighted the escalation of tensions on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp during Muharram. He stressed the need to maintain peace during Muharram.

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