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No culture of girlfriend in Islamic society, says Pakistani Supreme Court

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Islamabad: There is no culture of girlfriend in an Islamic society as it is a Western concept, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has remarked while rejecting a bail application of accused who is allegedly involved in creating a Facebook account of a female without consent and uploading her pictures.

The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday heard a bail application of one Muhammad Munir who had been behind bars for the past two months, The Express Tribune reported.

Munir’s lawyer submitted that the former was a computer operator in DCO office Haripur and Shagufta, his classmate, was residing in Peshawar. The counsel contended that Munir had created the Facebook account in the name of Shagufta with her consent.

Later, Shagufta lodged a complaint against Munir with Pakistan’s Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) alleging that he created a ‘fake account’ in her name.

When the SC bench sought to know their mutual relationship, Munir’s lawyer replied that Shagufta was his girlfriend.

“Upon this, the bench remarked that there is no culture of girlfriend in an Islamic society as it is a Western concept.”

The SC bench refused to grant bail to the accused.

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Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove

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In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed.
In this Jan. 4, 2018, file photo, a man demonstrates how he enters his Facebook page as he works on his computer in Brasilia, Brazil. Facebook is once again tweaking the formula it uses to decide what people see in their news feed. VOA

Social media companies Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube have greatly accelerated their removals of online hate speech, reviewing over two thirds of complaints within 24 hours, new EU figures show.

The European Union has piled pressure on social media firms to increase their efforts to fight the proliferation of extremist content and hate speech on their platforms, even threatening them with legislation.

Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube signed a code of conduct with the EU in May 2016 to review most complaints within a 24-hour timeframe.

The companies managed to meet that target in 81 percent of cases, EU figures seen by Reuters show, compared with 51 percent in May 2017 when the European Commission last monitored their compliance with the code of conduct.

EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova has said previously she does not want to see a removal rate of 100 percent as that could impinge on free speech. She has also said she is not in favor of legislating as Germany has done.

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

A law providing for hefty fines for social media companies if they do not remove hate speech quickly enough went into force in Germany this year.

“I do not hide that I am not in favor of hard regulation because the freedom of speech for me is almost absolute,” Jourova told reporters in December.

“In case of doubt it should remain online because freedom of expression is [in a] privileged position.”

Of the hate speech flagged to the companies, almost half of it was found on Facebook, the figures show, while 24 percent was on YouTube and 26 percent on Twitter.

The most common ground for hatred identified by the Commission was ethnic origins, followed by anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia, including expressions of hatred against migrants and refugees.

Following pressure from several European governments, social media companies stepped up their efforts to tackle extremist content online, including through the use of artificial intelligence.

The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017, VOA

Also read: Social media use may affect teenagers’ real life relationship

The Commission will likely issue a recommendation, a soft law instrument, on how companies should take down extremist content related to militant groups at the end of February, an official said, as it is less nuanced than hate speech and needs to be taken offline more quickly. (VOA)