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Digital Media Giants Threaten to Suspend Services in Pakistan

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Pakistan digital media
A coalition comprising digital media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter have threatened to suspend services in Pakistan. Pixabay

A coalition comprising digital media giants Facebook, Google and Twitter (among others) have spoken out against the new regulations approved by the Pakistani government for social media, threatening to suspend services in the country if the rules were not revised, it was reported.

In a letter to Prime Minster Imran Khan earlier this month, the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) called on his government to revise the new sets of rules and regulations for social media, The News International reported on Friday.

“The rules as currently written would make it extremely difficult for AIC Members to make their services available to Pakistani users and businesses,” reads the letter, referring to the Citizens Protection Rules (Against Online Harm).

The new set of regulations makes it compulsory for social media companies to open offices in Islamabad, build data servers to store information and take down content upon identification by authorities.

Pakistan digital media
According to the law, authorities will be able to take action against any citizen of Pakistan found guilty of targeting state institutions at home and abroad on social media. Pixabay

Failure to comply with the authorities in Pakistan will result in heavy fines and possible termination of services. It said that the regulations were causing “international companies to re-evaluate their view of the regulatory environment in Pakistan, and their willingness to operate in the country”.

Referring to the rules as “vague and arbitrary in nature”, the AIC said that it was forcing them to go against established norms of user privacy and freedom of expression.

“We are not against regulation of social media, and we acknowledge that Pakistan already has an extensive legislative framework governing online content. However, these Rules fail to address crucial issues such as internationally recognized rights to individual expression and privacy,” The News International quoted the letter as saying.

According to the law, authorities will be able to take action against Pakistanis found guilty of targeting state institutions at home and abroad on social media. The law will also help the law enforcement authorities obtain access to data of accounts found involved in suspicious activities.

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It would be the said authority’s prerogative to identify objectionable content to the social media platforms to be taken down. In case of failure to comply within 15 days, it would have the power to suspend their services or impose a fine worth up to 500 million Pakistani rupees ($3 million). (IANS)

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Indians Spend More Time on OTT Media, Education and Fitness Apps During Coronavirus Lockdown

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom

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Netflix
OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday.

After the COVID-19 outbreak in India, video conferencing applications like Zoom, Hangouts, Google Duo, and Houseparty have seen over 71 per cent increase in time spent, with more than 104 per cent increase in active user count, said the report by Gurugram-headquartered tech company Bobble AI.

The findings are based upon the anonymised and aggregated insights collected on Bobble AI platforms post and during the COVID-19 outbreak in India, the company said. While video conferencing desktop and mobile application Houseparty has seen a massive increase of 215.97 per cent in time spent, along with a spike of 8,142.55 per cent in active users, Zoom has seen an increase of 141.69 per cent in time spent, with an 85.43 per cent increase in engagement rate and a 2,542.23 per cent increase in active users, the results showed.

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OTT platforms like Hotstar, Amazon Prime and Netflix have seen an 82.63 per cent increase in time spent, said the report. The Bobble AI data intelligence and analysis revealed that fitness applications like, Lose Weight at Home, Cure.fit, Home Workout has seen a 39.50 per cent increase in time spent with a 14.72 per cent increase in engagement rate, and 104.53 per cent increase in daily active users.

Coronavirus
With the COVID-19 lockdown keeping most people at home, Indians are now spending more time on over-the-top (OTT) media services and educational and fitness apps than ever, a report said on Wednesday. Pixabay

‘Lose Weight at Home’ app has seen a 46.98 per cent increase in time spent, with a 49.33 per cent increase in active users.
Similarly, e-learning platforms like Udemy, Unacademy and Byjus have seen an 82.73 per cent increase in time spent, along with a whopping 122.62 per cent increase in engagement and 25.12 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

With the complete lockdown, social media and messaging apps have also seen an instant boom. Applications like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter have seen a 46.28 per cent hike in time spent, with a 49.23 per cent increase in engagement and a 29.55 per cent increase in daily active users, said the report.

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There is a 57.64 per cent increase in time on WhatsApp, with a 49 per cent increase in engagement, followed by Instagram with a 50.30 per cent increase in engagement rate, it added. (IANS)