False accounts | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

False accounts

Pakistan Press Foundation

IT seems that some ‘cleaning up’ is finally required. A few individuals have taken their complaints about fake Facebook accounts to the Federal Investigation Agency in the past.

Some cases have been reported in the media about how ill-equipped the FIA is to deal with cyber crime in general, amid the rising instances of statements on social media sites being quoted all around, taken at face value and attributed to the person in whose title an account is being maintained.

Know more: ISI and the military lodge complaint against fake Facebook accounts

The news that now the ISI and the army have asked the FIA to investigate false accounts established in the name of some of their senior-most officers is just another manifestation of how dangerous the practice can be.

It confirms the long-acquired national preoccupation with spreading rumours and falsehood by camouflaging these in military colours.

An account in the name of the military would require some measure of denial before Pakistanis can be convinced that someone, near or far, has had the temerity to invade the privacy of and impersonate a member of the military that they are in awe of. In fact, the possibilities that such a false account can present to its operators are unlimited.

Considering that every muscle that is flexed in Pakistan is easily believed to have been flexed by military order and that all the sit-ins, sit-outs and lounging about in places of power are said to be controlled by the security establishment, there is a danger that someone with a mischievous bent of mind could really turn everything upside down.

There is no shortage on Facebook itself of those who conveniently disguise themselves as soldiers to let loose a volley of words often bordering on abuse, some invoking the worst kind of invective.

Hopefully, the FIA will now display the requisite urgency to come up with a plan that prevents this abuse of technology, and the effects of its efforts will be felt in areas beyond the specific accounts the military has complained about.