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EditorialFree speech and social media laws

Free speech and social media laws

From time to time, the governments of the day keep on coming up with laws to gag people’s free speech rights. A few months ago, the Punjab government banned school teachers from accessing social networking sites. They have been told to stay away from the ongoing smear campaign against state institutions and siding with any political party, continuing its former policy of forbidding government personnel from using social media. It serves as the logical conclusion to an absurd deed. Democracy depends on debate and competitiveness. The worst working conditions have already been experienced by the mainstream media. Newspapers have suffered, long-running TV stations have to be shut down, and the standard of journalism has been lowered. It compelled people to express themselves on social media. The greatest irony is that the ruling party’s primary platform before assuming power was social media. The Ministry of Information and the party’s social media unit are now one entity.

At the time, the public expected the government to support their right to free speech, but they received the complete reverse. The point is that such choices are doomed to fail, as was the case with the TikTok ban. The administration was forced to take it back within days. We oppose media freedom that is too unrestrained because that would lead to the collapse of all state institutions. Conflict and disagreement are reduced in media logic when criticism and competitiveness are democratic elements. There is undoubtedly a need to halt the spread of false information on social media and in the media at large. Nobody can ignore the harm that fake news can-and already is-do to world society. Governments are being made and broken as a result. Because of this, the biggest social media platforms have come under intense scrutiny, and actions are being taken practically constantly to curb them. Media literacy is an emphasis for developed countries citizens. These activities must all be supported. However, legalising the repression of dissenting voices under the guise of patriotism and other nebulous concepts is devious. If Pakistani society is further repressed, it will implode because we have already experienced far too many restraints and restrictions.

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