Ahead of the International Internet Day (October 29), IRADA published a report called “Regulatory Repressions Amid Pandemic: State of Digital Media Freedoms in Pakistan 2021.”
According to it, pressures and threats against online expression weakened the state of digital media freedom during the year.
What it says: Pakistan dropped from 26 points to 25, out of 100.
The report covered five areas related to digital media freedoms:
- online freedoms
- legal framework
- judicial actions
It shows that journalists had to face harassment and abuse on social media. Additionally, the public was subjected to a number of conspiracies and fake news, especially about the Coronavirus.
There was an increase in the number of cyber harassment complaints filed by women.
Between the lines: The government has a lot of concerns when it comes to the public’s access to the internet.
Its new social media rules, the on and off ban on TikTok, and Pemra’s recent notification forbidding romantic scenes, all have a role to play in curbing the freedom of the digital space.
The other side: Pakistan has shown some gains in the usage and accessibility of the internet.
IRADA hopes that their report would provide an overview of the digital rights situation and help in developing strategies to overcome challenges.