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Twitter won’t suspend Pakistan’s accounts without warning anymore

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Posted: Oct 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Twitter won’t suspend Pakistan’s accounts without warning anymore

Photo: AFP

Twitter will no longer suspend the official accounts of the Government of Pakistan without prior warning anymore, the government claimed on Wednesday. 

Shabahat Ali Shah, who is the CEO of the National IT Board, said he met with people working for Twitter during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to the US. Shah was accompanying PM Khan too.

“The meeting was attended by members of the Pakistani consulate too,” he said. “We wanted Twitter to listen to us and stop taking one-sided unilateral steps.”

Shah said that he told the meeting participants that Pakistan is a responsible country and Twitter should reach out to the government first if it wants to suspend any account.

“Twitter will now monitor our accounts closely and we will give them details of some accounts too,” he remarked. They will contact the government before taking any action against any account.

A warning will be issued to us and we will take up the said issue with the person handling the account. We want to solve problems through discussion first. “This is the era of freedom of speech and Kashmir is just one issue. Accounts shouldn’t be closed like this,” he added.

In August, it was reported that Twitter had suspended more than 200 accounts, including official government accounts, for posting about Indian atrocities in Kashmir.

Shah then wrote a letter to Twitter asking them to bring any ‘belligerent content’ to the government’s notice before suspending the account it was posted from.

“We have serious concerns that suspending Twitter accounts of the government may result in an uncontrollable outburst of public on the streets that would have an imminent threat to human lives,” Shah said in the letter.

Shah explained that he had tried to contact Twitter before too. “It was very difficult to contact them because the company isn’t registered in Pakistan so we can’t have any written agreement with them.”

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