ProperGaanda – a Pakistani digital media platform that curates content for Gen-Z, Millennials and South Asian Diaspora was banned on November 17, 2021 (Wednesday).
Since its inception, the digital media platform has focused on curating stories about social taboos that are usually ignored, especially minority rights, trans rights and giving coverage to underrepresented communities.
According to reports, their Instagram account was taken down once before in August this year, amid the Afghanistan situation and the Taliban takeover. ProperGaanda’s communications manager said that they have reason to believe that their Instagram account was reported due to wrong targeting by far-right extremist groups or error on the META platform’s behalf, for which they apologised as well.
One of the news reporters at ProperGaanda said, “On multiple occasions, people have tried to hack our account. Once they also hacked the founder, Hamza Ghaznavi’s account and though that they tried to delete ProperGaanda’s main page they were unsuccessful. Following this incident, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also took notice of the attempt and took action against the concerned parties.”
Multiple posts of ProperGaanda were also flagged for reporting on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests that were wreaking havoc in the country, which the organisation believed were unjust as the reports were factual retellings of what was happening in the country.
However, ProperGaanda isn’t the only platform that social media companies have taken down. Leftistan, another page that serves to bring light to the social issues that matter, was also taken down by Instagram. As digital media agency pages, both pages state that they cannot ignore the violence our minorities, women, labour class go through and will continue to make a difference.
It is pertinent to note that ProperGaanda’s posts on TLP were flagged due to the hashtags that were used, raising a question on Instagram’s algorithms. At the same time, there seems to be a biasedness from Instagram regarding the social media news agencies operating from Pakistan due to the algorithm.
ProperGaanda claims to be a platform that wants to continue serving its youth by highlighting the major problems faced. Another news reporter at ProperGaanda said, “Shutting down our page is a take on inequality head on on a global stage, we believe this is quite hypocritical and counterproductive. Help us in getting our page back using the hashtag #openpropergaanda, let’s show everyone the real power of social media!”
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