ISLAMABAD: Twitter has suspended the official account of religious party Tehreek e Labaik Pakistan, TLP, Chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
The account was suspended for violating the “Twitter Rules”. Talking to DRM, a Twitter spokesperson said: “As per the Twitter Rules, we do not tolerate behavior that encourages or incites violence against a specific person or group of people. We also take action against content that glorifies acts of violence in a manner that may inspire others to replicate those violent acts and cause real offline danger.”
It is not clear what triggered Twitter to take down his account. A few hours before the suspension of the Twitter account, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari lamented that Twitter refused to suspend Mr.Rizvi’s account on the government’s request.
Just chkd with info Minister who was informed that Twitter refusing our request! https://t.co/LZhbf6OSj2
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) November 4, 2018
However, after the account was suspended, some prominent journalists and social media users congratulated each other on successfully reporting Mr. Khadim’s account to Twitter for spreading hatred.
👏🏽💪🏽 thanks for your efforts and reporting tirelessly since last few days. @IamUmer1 @AWGoraya @beenasarwar @HRCP87 @bytesforall @GulBukhari @marvisirmed @sirkup #SayNoToOnlineViolence https://t.co/M5kCmcDR3u
— Qurratulain Zaman (@Natrani) November 4, 2018
Collectively we can take down all monsnters from our digital space. Still many accounts to be deleted which posted pledge for vioence and murder. The ones which posted hate speech. More good news coming. Bilal Khan’s FB gone. Do send us the links and screenshots .
— 𝔸𝕙𝕞𝕒𝕕 𝕎𝕒𝕢𝕒𝕤𝕤 𝔾𝕠𝕣𝕒𝕪𝕒 (@AWGoraya) November 4, 2018
Social media has remained an important mode of communication for TLP in the midst of media blackout during their protest against the latest Supreme Court’s acquittal of Asia Noreen. On October 31, Supreme Court in her verdict exonerated her of blasphemy charges. She had been in Jail since 2009 under blasphemy charges.
After the verdict, many religious parties came out street to protest against the verdict. They also used social media and allegedly incited their followers to violence against state institutions.
Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.