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YT, Meta & Twitter Refuses To block Certain Content in Accordance with the Laws of Pakistan

Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman ·  2 min read >

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confronted social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for not responding positively to register themselves under “Registration of Significant Social Media Companies under Rules, 2021”. The Social Media platforms do not consider themselves obligated to entertain the requests for blocking content in accordance with the Laws of Pakistan. 

Official documents revealed that under the said Rules, so far 5 significant media platforms have completed the registration process and are now registered as Significant Social Media Companies (SSMC) in Pakistan.

They encourage the aggrieved users to directly report the issues to them. However, for the purpose of streamlining the procedures, several meetings with Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok have been convened.

The registered SSMC included Joyo Technology Pakistan (Private) Limited (Snackvideo), Bigo Service Pakistan (Private) Limited (BIGO Live, Likee), and Micro World Limited (YoHo, MICO).

However, all major social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc have not responded positively to the repeated direction of the Authority w.r.t. registration under Rules 2021.

PTA further stated that the Rules  201 have been challenged before the Islamabad High Court and are pending adjudication. Additionally, WP No. 1579/2022 titled “Farhatullah Babar Vs FoP, etc ” has been filed before the Islamabad High Court wherein section 37 of PECA is challenged.

The Prime Minister’s office vides its notification dated 23rd June 2022 has reconstituted the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) under the Chairmanship of the Law Minister with the mandate to review PECA along with Rules 2021 and come up with recommendations to bring the said Act and Rules in conformity with Constitution of Pakistan and existing laws.

The working group in the last meeting held on 7th Sep 2022 constituted a sub-committee to review the Rules 2021 and submit its recommendations w.r.t amendments in the said rules.

Considering the request of the PTA, a dedicated resource has been notified by Facebook for effective coordination with PTA. Similarly, YouTube has also launched a country version for Pakistan. During the recent meetings with senior representatives of YouTube, the platform has assured special checks on hate speech, contempt of court, and blasphemous content.

PTA, under section 37 of the Prevention of Electronic Crime Act 2016, reports unlawful online content to different Social Media platforms including Twitter.

A total of 67,166 links were forwarded containing unlawful content out of which only 34,010 links have been blocked to date which is around 50.64 percent of the requests submitted for blocking. It is also important to highlight that the blocking percentage is based on the violation of Twitter’s own Community Standards and not in pursuance of the Legal provisions of Pakistan.

PTA has tried to actively engage with Twitter by convening multiple meetings with its senior management for the purpose of improving the working arrangement by developing a mechanism for blocking unlawful content in accordance with Pakistani laws as well as community guidelines.

However, compared to other social media platforms, the response of Twitter is not encouraging. It is worth mentioning that w.r.t most sensitive issue of blasphemous content to which the response of the Twitter platform is weak, PTA has approached MoIT for seeking guidance and to advise further course of action against such Non-compliant platforms.

Recently, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) just recently blocked over a million social media accounts as a response to the complaints it received. The primary reasons behind the blockage of these accounts include the sharing or publishing of illegal content or the spreading of hate against state institutions.

According to reports, PTA received complaints for 1.2 million accounts, once collected these accounts were analyzed and as a result, 1.13 million of these accounts were blocked for valid reasons. Some of these accounts are still under surveillance and will be blocked soon.

Amongst these complaints were a lot of fake ones therefore around 10,500 social media accounts have been labeled as falsely reported and are termed as non-guilty.

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers. Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: Profile