November 14, 2018

#SayNoToCyberBullying: Pakistanis raise their voice against Cyber bullying on Twitter

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Twitterati made cyber bullying a trending topic on Tuesday night by contributing their reflections on this issue using #SayNoToCyberBullying.

As per detail, many twitter users expressed grief over how internet was being used by cyber bullies to target people.

Some users also came forward with their own personal stories.

Some twitter users shed light on the consequences of cyber bullying.

The hashtag remained one of the top trends till the time of writing this report.

A website called Stopbullying.gov and managed by the US Department of Health and Human Services defines cyber bullying in these words:
“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.”

While Pakistan’s Electronic Crimes Act 2016, PECA, does not have a specific punishment under the term “cyber bullying”, sections 20 and 24 broadly deal with this issue.

Under PECA’s section 20, a person may be sentenced to three years imprisonment and fined up to Rs.1 million if he/she spreads any information, using information system, about a person known to be ”false, and intimidates or harms the reputation or privacy of a natural person.”

Similarly section 24 of PECA lists punishment of three years and fine up to PKR one million for “Cyber stalking”, an act that involves “the offence of cyber stalking who, with the intent to coerce or intimidate or harass any person, uses information system, information system network, the Internet, website, electronic mail, or any other similar means of communication”  to carry out a number of actions. These include  reaching out to a person to strike a personal interaction despite his/her disinterest, monitor his/her use of internet, watch or spy upon the person in a manner that could result in fear of violence or serious alarm or distress in that person’s mind and lastly taking somebody’s pictures without consent and posting it a manner that could harm the person.

Written by

Talal Raza is a Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy. He has worked with renowned media organizations and NGOs including Geo News, The Nation, United States Institute of Peace and Privacy International.

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