PTA circulates 16 SMS alerts to restraint public from sharing unlawful content

ISLAMABAD, Oct 10 (APP):The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has broadcast 16 SMS alerts through all cellular networks operating in the country to restraint the public from sharing unlawful content on social media platforms.

“Sharing of blasphemy, pornography, terrorism and other unlawful content on social media is illegal. Users are advised to report such content on content-complaint@pta.gov.pk for necessary action,” said an official document shared with APP by PTA official.

Besides that, he said, PTA has published nine advertisements in major national English and Urdu newspapers for creating awareness about illegal content and public were asked to report such content to the Authority. He said the Authority has posted advisory on its official website to aware internet users about lodging of complaint directly on social media platforms.

In response to a query, the official said, social media platforms are extending cooperation with the Authority for blocking of reported content. However, some difficulties were faced with Twitter and to resolve the issues efforts were underway.

To another query, he said if the reported Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) were hosted on an unsecured platform it was blocked through local Internet Service Providers (ISPs). If it was hosted on a secured platform then the administration of the concerned website was requested for removal of the said content.

With the assistance of stakeholders, general public and conducting self-search, he said, the PTA has processed over 900,000 URLs for blocking. “Collective efforts were required to combat this menace as millions of Web Pages were uploading on daily basis,” he added.

About the procedure of complaints handling, he said, complaints were received through dedicated cell namely “Web Analysis Cell” and the content was blocked or removed after conducting proactive search.
There were 32 federal and provincial government organizations that were counted as stakeholders had been given the direct access to the electronic-portal developed by the Authority to lodge complaints relating to different categories.

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