(Barnabas Aid) — Pakistan’s government approved a new law to monitor online platforms on Jan. 28, which would require social media companies to remove any “unwanted and slanderous” online content within 24 hours, or six hours in “emergency cases,” prompting concerns over “blasphemy” accusations.
Any company failing to share any data or remove any content under the Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules could be blocked or fined up to 500 million rupees (£2.5 million; $3.2 million; €3 million).
Prime Minister Imran Khan reassured business leaders on rule changes and urged them to continue operations in Pakistan.
A Barnabas contact flagged that this law could be a new route to falsely accuse Christians of “blasphemy.” “We already warn Christians to be careful of what they are posting. Christians are in danger of attack or arrest if potentially ‘offensive’ content is found on their Facebook pages, even if it was posted by someone else,’’ he said.