MoRA highlights media’s role in handling offensive social media’s contents | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

MoRA highlights media’s role in handling offensive social media’s contents

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD   –   The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) and Interfaith Harmony has emphasized on the vital role of the media and the people asso­ciated with it in dealing with of­fensive content on social media.

The Ministry has formulat­ed comprehensive guidelines keeping in view the media’s significant role to prevent blas­phemous content on social media. According to the guide­lines, issues here, it is essential to launch a public awareness drive in all sections of media to discourage the obscene content and highlight related laws and government initiatives to meet this menace of the society.

The people must report blas­phemous content on social media to Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Federal Investi­gation Agency (FIA) or Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony for timely handling the situation within the domain of laws and the Constitution.

As per reports, presently more than 100 million people are us­ing social media in the country and the evil of profane and in­sulting content on this platform is spreading rapidly. The spread of content can be estimated from the fact that four people together formed a blasphemy group in 2019. In 2022, when FIA Cy­bercrime Wing caught them, the number of members of this group had increased to more than 32,000. Therefore, control­ling this epidemic is not just a matter of a few people as the entire nation has to play its part, the government institutions have to fulfill their responsibilities and media and people associated with it should highlight this bur­geoning religious issue through all means of communication.

The Ministry has emphasized that while there is a need to dis­courage such content through the media, public awareness re­garding the relevant laws of Pak­istan and the government-level management of obscene content is also crucial.

Highlighting responsibility of the parents in the current situ­ation, the Ministry has asked the media to conduct a special campaign for them as parents are the main source of provid­ing mobile, laptop and internet facilities to their children and they should also keep an eye on what their children see on the social media, lest the children follow a wrong path in ignorance and reach the point of insolence through porn videos.

Special attention has also drawn to the fact that in this era of social media and print media, the message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)’s biography contain­ing humanity, decency and good morals should be presented in a very efficient and effective man­ner, through writing, speech, and small video clips, etcetera. The manners and virtues of the Last Messenger of Allah Almighty (Peace Be Upon Him) should be presented in different languages so that His exemplary aspects of life be highlighted in actual con­text at all forums of the society. The Ministry has urged the me­dia to telecast the programmes related to the biography of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in order to respond this in­solence by presenting the role of a true Muslim in light of divine commands and Sunnah.

The media is urged to spread awareness of the seriousness of the rightful use of ‘freedom of ex­pression’ and offending and hurt­ing the followers of any religion in the guise of it. Public opinion should be smoothed to declare the insulting of religion, religious sanctities and personalities as universally unacceptable.

The religious extremism and violence should also be blocked in the same way, especially in the West, measures should be taken for the true interpretation of Islam to prevent the grow­ing trend of Islamophobia and in this regard, the opinions and ideas of scholars should be used.

The Ministry of Religious Af­fairs and Interfaith Harmony has also said with the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and religious figures, awareness should be created regarding the insulting of holy things and figures and its dissemination, and what kind of severe punish­ments are there in the laws of the country for the people guilty of such crimes. Similarly, this education and awareness should also be created so that in case of any such incident, instead of tak­ing the law into their hands, the people should try to ensure ac­tion according to the law.

Source: The Nation

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