Conversation on ‘Online Hate Speech and Disinformation’ held

NationalConversation on ‘Online Hate Speech and Disinformation’ held

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A Conversation on ‘Online Hate Speech and Disinformation’ was held to shed light on the challenges posed by online hate speech and disinformation targeting at-risk communities.

The panel was moderated by Senior Program Manager Zainab Durrani and included the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Secretary Kamran Rajar, Dr. Shoaib Suddle, One Man Commission for Minorities, Academic Dr. Ayra Patras, Journalist Sajjad Azhar and Director of Bolo Bhi Usama Khilji.Conversation on ‘Online Hate Speech and Disinformation’ held

   

The panelists shed light on how online hate speech and disinformation manifest online and how to combat these as a community together.

Dr. Ayra Patras said, “When religious minority communities are ostracized in real life then you see the replication of this behavior online as well. We see more hate speech and there are no recompense mechanisms in place that actually work.”

She added, “The social discrimination faced by these communities germinates into social exclusion and the consequences are far-reaching and become entrenched in real life.”

The second panel of the event was on ‘Bridging the Digital Divide: Ensuring Equal Access for All’ which was moderated by Programs Lead Seerat Khan.

The panel was joined by NCHR Member Minorities Manzoor Masih, Former Senator Farahtullah Baber, Community Leader and Activist Sunil Gulzar Khan, and Cyber Harassment Helpline Manager Hyra Basit. The panel addressed mechanisms needed to ensure safe spaces for at-risk communities, particularly in light of the upcoming elections and the need for community building and resilience.

Senator Farhatullah Babar said, “The discussion around digital divide is very timely in light of the upcoming elections. In Pakistan, media has played a great role in elections and online disinformation is a very real issue.”

He added, “It is very important to consider all actors complicit in the online disinformation campaign and more than most, the state is complicit”. He advocated for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to develop a code of conduct for media house that is focused on combating disinformation on social media.

Mati
Mati
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