I write on how politics has largely moved online, how journalism is being choked and changed, how regulation is non-transparent, how technology is shaping society, and how the online space is shrinking for critical voices.

Pro-government ‘fact checkers’ are vilifying Pakistani journalists

Pro-government ‘fact checkers’ are vilifying Pakistani journalists

An army of online volunteers has come to the aid of Prime Minister Imran Khan, picking apart stories that criticize the government

Digital jalsas catch on as censorship pushes viewers online

Digital jalsas catch on as censorship pushes viewers online

Does censorship on mainstream media work in the age of social media?

Amid social media bans, creators fear loss of earning

Amid social media bans, creators fear loss of earning

Uncertainty looms for the content creators following the ban on TikTok and warning to YouTube.

Facebook removes network of accounts, pages ‘operated from Pakistan’

Facebook removes network of accounts, pages ‘operated from Pakistan’

Most accounts, Pages and Groups engaged in coordinated reporting of content critical of Pakistan or supportive of India.

Govt bans five more apps to curb ‘immoral content’

Govt bans five more apps to curb ‘immoral content’

The PTA announces a sweeping ban on dating applications, including Tinder, Grindr and SayHi.

Ban on PUBG to remain in interest of public order: PTA

Ban on PUBG to remain in interest of public order: PTA

The PTA discusses its jurisdiction to block online content, the impact of the ban on e-sports, and the “negative effects” of the online game on mental health of the players.

PTA asks operators to ensure ‘immoral’ content is inaccessible to users

PTA asks operators to ensure ‘immoral’ content is inaccessible to users

Internet service providers asked to ensure that no pornographic/immoral/illegal content is being served to the users through CDNs.

Live streaming app Bigo banned in Pakistan

Live streaming app Bigo banned in Pakistan

Bigo banned, final warning issued to TikTok over obscene and immoral content on the platforms.

Govt finalises policy to check Covid-19 disinformation

Govt finalises policy to check Covid-19 disinformation

Media regulatory bodies asked to take strict action against individuals propagating ‘fake news’.

PTA asks internet users to register VPNs to avoid ban

PTA asks internet users to register VPNs to avoid

Action may be taken against customers using VPNs without permission.

Govt’s Covid-19 app sparks furore over security flaws

Govt’s Covid-19 app sparks furore over security flaws

The government’s Covid-19 Gov PK mobile application comes under criticism for alleged security flaws.

First consultation on CP rules questions regulation of fake news

First consultation on CP rules questions regulation of fake news

The meeting consulted on regulation of content related to blasphemy, child pornography, extremism, hate speech, character assassination and fake news.

Tech firms seek formal withdrawal of CP rules

Tech firms seek formal withdrawal of CP rules

Asia Internet Coalition encouraged PTA to ensure that any rules adhere to their parent legislation.

Govt begins consultation on online harm rules

Govt begins consultation on online harm rules

Human rights groups refuse to engage in review process until the rules are revoked.

Outage in Pakistan not from company’s end, says Twitter

Outage in Pakistan not from company’s end, says Twitter

Social networking site Twitter suspiciously becomes inaccessible to users in Pakistan for almost two hours.

Personal details of Tiger Force volunteers circulating online

Personal details of Tiger Force volunteers circulating online

Personal information, including CNIC and phone numbers, of thousands of volunteers is being shared on WhatsApp groups.

Over 5,000 people at Covid-19 risk tracked

Over 5,000 people at Covid-19 risk tracked

The individuals at risk of contracting Covid-19 from across the country have been identified by the government’s trace and track system.

Virus content against govt guidelines to be removed: Facebook

Virus content against govt guidelines to be removed: Facebook

Pakistan reports 42 virus-related posts to Facebook as the platform steps up efforts to moderate Covid content.

Inside Wikipedia's infodemic battle

Inside Wikipedia's infodemic battle

Wikipedia breaks five-year record with high traffic in pandemic, while editors battle misinformation and racial politics.

Pakistan's browsing trends during Covid pandemic

Pakistan's browsing trends during Covid pandemic

Amid social distancing and lockdowns, more Pakistanis are looking to connect on social media and video conferencing apps

Call for access to quality, affordable internet during outbreak

Call for access to quality, affordable internet during outbreak

Students in tribal areas demand internet access, rights groups ask govt to bridge digital divide

A guide to surviving the Covid-19 ‘infodemic’

A guide to surviving the Covid-19 ‘infodemic’

From desi totkas to fake news about the virus, here is how you can find accurate information online.

Internet usage goes up as life goes online

Internet usage goes up as life goes online

Internet usage in the country goes up by 15 per cent within a week of lockdown.

Govt starts cell phone tracking to alert people at virus risk

Govt starts cell phone tracking to alert people at virus risk

Pakistan turns to contact tracing to contain outbreak, rights activists wonder where the data will be stored

Pakistan’s digital influencers fight virus misinformation

Pakistan’s digital influencers fight virus misinformation

Amid viral falsehoods, some 200 influencers are assisting the government to keep the public well-informed.

Government to set up media wing to lead digital diplomacy

Government to set up media wing to lead digital diplomacy

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government has decided to set up a 23-member media team to devise and lead its digital strategy.

Virus closures make classes go digital in Pakistan

Virus closures make classes go digital in Pakistan

Covid-19 has left education at the mercy of online learning — a method that is mostly unfamiliar and untested in Pakistan.

Govt remains befuddled over how to deal with online harm

Govt remains befuddled over how to deal with online harm

Confusion reigns in the country over how to deal with harmful content on social media and invite firms to Pakistan.

Digital firms ask govt to rethink rules for online regulation

Digital firms ask govt to rethink rules for online regulation

Pakistan moves to regulate social media. Digital firms ask to govt to reconsider.

The furious case of Twitter ‘violations’

The furious case of Twitter ‘violations’

Journalists and activists are being locked out over old tweets. What’s up with Twitter’s moderation?

Is Twitter aiding India’s quest to silence Kashmiris?

Is Twitter aiding India’s quest to silence Kashmiris?

An analysis of Twitter’s opaque moderation on Kashmir conflict.

Kashmir blackout triggers online misinformation war

Kashmir blackout triggers online misinformation war

Over 30 pages related to the dispute locked to restrict edits on Wikipedia.

200 accounts suspended over Kashmir reported to Twitter

200 accounts suspended over Kashmir reported to Twitter

Twitter refutes charge of bias, says no one is above its rules.

Indian network behind disinfo campaigns exposed

Indian network behind disinfo campaigns exposed

EU DisinfoLab releases complete report, finding 265 ‘fake’ news outlets influencing EU, UN

The 'Digital Pakistan' challenge

The 'Digital Pakistan' challenge

It is 2020, and the government has a new resolution — the provision of ‘Roti, Kapra, Makan and Internet’.

PTA's content removal conundrum

PTA's content removal conundrum

The telecommunication authority’s regulation dragnet includes problems of transparency, arbitrary blocking.

Pakistan leads in censorship requests sent to Facebook

Pakistan leads in censorship requests sent to Facebook

Facebook’s transparency report shows the highest number of requests originated from Pakistan.

Pakistani journalists targeted with smear campaigns online

Pakistani journalists targeted with smear campaigns online

Coordinated hashtags with abusive content against journalists trend on Twitter.

Digital campaign meant to educate journalists: PTI

Digital campaign meant to educate journalists: PTI

A broadside against media linked critical coverage to potential “treason”.

Freelancers upset over PayPal refusal to operate in Pakistan

Freelancers upset over PayPal refusal to operate in Pakistan

Around 200,000 self-employed workers face a host of payment-related issues.

Explainer: Twitter's legal notices to users

Explainer: Twitter's legal notices to users

How does Twitter determine if content should be removed?

Threat to ban Twitter in Pakistan criticised

Threat to ban Twitter in Pakistan criticised

Twitter threatened with shutdown for not complying with government directives to block ‘objectionable content’ despite repeated requests.

Number of accounts reported to Twitter drops

Number of accounts reported to Twitter drops

PM’s focal person cites platform’s non-compliance for Pakistan’s decline in requests.

Election observers cast doubt on i-voting process

Election observers cast doubt on i-voting process

Election observers express scepticism about the online electoral system’s security, credibility and transparency.

Concerns over new govt plans to monitor online traffic

Concerns over new govt plans to monitor online traffic

Web system to measure traffic, record voice and call data for ‘national security’.

Facebook breach shows need for data privacy law

Facebook breach shows need for data privacy law

Authorities reminded of the pressing need for laws to protect private data of individuals.

Pakistan among states where Facebook curbed most content

Pakistan among states where Facebook curbed most content

Content restricted for violating local laws prohibiting blasphemy, anti-judiciary content, defamation.

Pakistan's social media conundrum as election looms

Pakistan's social media conundrum as election looms

Efforts to combat propaganda online are becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

Reality, reason and rumour in the age of WhatsApp

Reality, reason and rumour in the age of WhatsApp

WhatsApp is rife with fake news, disinformation and inflammatory messages.

Changing face of campaigns in internet-driven polls

Changing face of campaigns in internet-driven polls

Controlling voter perception now requires dominating online spaces.

©2021 Ramsha Jahangir

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