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ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday took strong notice of anti-Pakistan content on social media and urged for immediate action to stop such propaganda tool for spreading fake information against the stability and sovereignty of the country.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has approached Twitter administration to immediately sensitize its moderation teams, and ensure that the platform is not used as a propaganda tool for spreading fake information.

In the wake of current smear campaign of spreading false and baseless information targeting Pakistan, its cities and institutions, the PTA has stressed upon Twitter to effectively block handles involved in the campaign.

The PTA in a statement stated that to the disappointment of the regulator, number of accounts involved in propagation of untrue stories, are Twitter verified. However, they are still operating with impunity.

The PTA has asked the platform to take immediate action against such accounts as per its guidelines and policies. Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haq also took strong notice of anti-Pakistan content on social media.

He expressed anger on the social media posts containing baseless news and propaganda against Pakistan. The federal minister also contacted Chairman PTA Major General Amir Azeem (retired) on the issue of propaganda posts circulating on social media.

He said the Indian lobby was strategically using social media to spread false news about Pakistan, adding that all social media companies were responsible for controlling fake news and hate-speech.

He urged Twitter to remove such content based on fake news immediately. Expressing anger over the latest social media posts, the minister said, "Why are Indian social media users allowed to post incorrect information and openly incite hatred, however, Pakistani accounts are blocked when they say something about Indian Occupied Kashmir or Israel?"

He said that in addition to common accounts, the spread of fake news from verified accounts raises questions on Twitter's integrity. The minister said that at a time, when Pakistan was inviting all social media companies to start operating in Pakistan, such posts could work as a deterrent.

"Do not such posts come under the violation of international laws?" he questioned, adding that "[Who thinks that] propaganda posts against the stability and sovereignty of Pakistan will be tolerated?"

Haque added that social media companies should take strict action to control such propaganda in the future. The minister ordered the PTA to ensure that social media was not used to spread negative and baseless news. "Hate-inciting conversations and immoral and anti-state propaganda posts will not be tolerated," he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020