Social websites: hidden dangers -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Social websites: hidden dangers

ACCORDING to media reports, authorities in Pakistan shut down social networking website Twitter for several hours after government found blasphemous material on the site.

Only a year ago, another social networking website Facebook received same treatment in several countries. It is a fact that despite their growing popularity, social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have failed to meet social values.

Not only conservative but also modern and liberal societies are now raising voice against these social networking giants.

Only a few months ago in Britain, a serial killer got 35,000 fans on his Facebook page. Most of them were teenagers who were inspired with the lifestyle and popularity of the notorious serial killer.

Despite personal request of the British prime minister, Facebook refused to remove the page of this notorious serial killer.

Only months ago death of a young girl sparked countrywide protest in Australia. The girl was befriended through Facebook by a notorious killer and lost her life in miserable circumstances.

Publication of controversial material against different religions, cartoon controversy on leading social networking websites also sparked worldwide protest in different countries.

It is true that in the name of freedom of expression and freedom of speech we cannot permit controversial personalities like Salman Rushdi, Taslima Nasreen and Moli Nauras to use leading social networking websites and play with the sentiments of billons of people around the world.

Extremist organisations around the world are also widely using these websites to spread their propaganda and hire new recruits to pursue their mission.

The world community and the UN must make rules and regulations for leading social networking websites and make sure that no one uses these sites to spread hatred.

Khawaja Umer Farooq