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Over 2m child exploitation images uploaded on Meta in 2021: FIA DG

Meta urges on reporting the objectionable content to concerned quarters so that the government agencies could move against those responsible

By Our Correspondent
July 22, 2022

KARACHI: In order to create public awareness among social media users on reporting of objectionable material to concerned quarters instead of sharing it on digital media platforms, a conference was held in Karachi to highlight the campaign — Report Not Share.

A joint collaboration of Zindagi Trust and Meta Platforms, Inc., the event brought together stakeholders to focus on reporting mechanism on cyber crimes in Pakistan. 

Senior marketing and resource development manager Zindagi Trust Faiq Ahmed explained ‘Report Not Share’ is a global campaign launched by Meta, which urges people to report the sexual imagery rather than sharing it on digital media platforms. He added that the trust wanted to bring the FIA and Meta closer to report such cases.

There is two-pronged reporting mechanism, which includes reporting the sexual imagery to Meta and lodging a complaint with FIA, said Faiq, adding that in order to strengthen reporting and complaint lodging campaigns, FIA and Meta would hold three roundtable conferences.

These conferences will help identify ways to make digital platforms safer for children and share policy recommendations with Pakistan Electronic Criminal Act (PECA) as well as the Pakistan Penal Code and make amendments for child safety in digital spaces. He also emphasised the implementation of policy making at the provincial level for timely justice and legal aid to the victims.

Sharing his thoughts on the campaign, Founder and President of Zindagi Trust, Shehzad Roy said: “Whenever I used to encounter disturbing content, my first instinct was to share it, so it could help identify the perpetrator. However, I have realised that the content can be distressing for many viewers besides it is also a breach of victims’ privacy.” He stressed on justice for victims and safer digital spaces.

Zindagi Trust takes pride in being a vocal advocate of policy level change for children’s safety and education, said Roy, adding, “We rely on the support of government institutions and social media companies like Meta to help us achieve our goals.”

Director Public Policy South Asia-Meta Sarim Aziz said Meta has a zero tolerance policy for content related to child exploitation and abuse, adding, “We use latest ground breaking technology to prevent, detect and remove content related to child abuse and violence.” He maintained since this is a highly sensitive matter, Meta takes a comprehensive approach to keep Apps’ users free of such malicious content.

“We continue to collaborate with local authorities, rights bodies and relevant stakeholders to fully ensure that the victims are not repeatedly traumatised by sharing evidence of their ordeal,” said Aziz. He urged on reporting the objectionable content to concerned quarters so that the government agencies could move against those responsible.

Under this collaboration, Zindagi Trust also produced an informative video to educate people about the harms of sharing inappropriate content and encourage them to report malicious content through proper channels instead of sharing it further.

This dialogue was the first of a series of round table discussions arranged by the Zindagi Trust to engage various stakeholders and to identify policy recommendations for making cyberspace safer for children in Pakistan.