Social media fake accounts spreading disinformation in Shangla

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Faisal Zeb is an elected lawmaker from Shangla’s PK-24 constituency, a screen grab of his official Facebook page was emerged on social media stating that “He is Thankful to the party for awarding the tehsil nazim ticket to his brother Tahir Zeb” but in-fact he was unaware of the grab, that making rounds on the social media.
“I was contacted by party colleagues and they were congratulating me and verifying the posts got viral on the social media but on the other hand I was curios and unaware,” the lawmaker said.
The MPA elect from Shangla had shared a post of congratulating to those four persons from different districts for being gotten party tickets for their respective tehsil which already was shared by over 200 users and commented by around 400 persons and someone copied that post and photoshoped by changing the statement of the post but forgot to change the time, date, previous sharing and comments which revealed the post edited and lawmaker also updated another post of with a cross on the fabricated post denying that he is not shared the post but it is edited.
MPA said that post was an attempt of disinformation to create conflict and clash between the Awami National Party local leadership as the ticket was not yet awarded to anyone.
This is not the case of MPA Faisal Zeb but it has become a normal practice in the district where honourable and respected elders, persons are being targeted individually by making false allegations on them and spreading fake information and photoshoped posts, edited videos in the district Shangla.
Attaullah is a former councilor and notable from Bisham tehsil, who is going to institute a case of defamation in the court against an individual who shared fake and fabricated posts against him from the different fake pages of the Facebook.
“I am fed up now and identified that person through an expert and gathered evidence against that person who shares fake and hate speech against me and my younger brother on the social media from fake pages,” Mr Attaullah told.
He said that he did not have any personal dispute with that person but he was just trying to defame him and thought he was transferred by him but in really he did not.
Doctor Wajid Ali, is a former district coordinator of expanded program on immunization, some posts have been making rounds on the social media while accusing the doctor of using the EPI funds on his own but in-fact the EPI workers payment made through Easypaisa from Peshawar and the local department send just lists along with national identity copies and their cellular numbers.
“Some unknown and known accounts had started a propaganda against me on the social media although his department knew this that the EPI workers payment made through Easypaisa and they had nothing to do with that,” Dr Wajid Ali, said.
Mr Ali says he left that to Almighty and it had become a routine nowadays and there was no check and balance on social media, anyone share according to his will without verification and mostly stuff he found on social media local pages contrary to the facts.
Ashraf Ali, assistant to the Shangla district police officer, Muhammad Imran, says they suggest the complainant to submit their report and complaints to FIA’s cybercrime wing as complaints related to social media were not fallen in their domain.
According to the Federal Investigation Agency more than 4,000 cybercrime cases of fake online accounts, hate speech, hacking, online financial fraud and illegal SIM cards were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last year in 2021 and action taken against the law violators.
The government of Pakistan is striving to discourage illegal practices on the internet world and a law also enacted titled “Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016” which protect privacy, honour, data and information of the Pakistani citizens.
Recently a video posted by different unknown account of Haji Abdul Munim, a former minister of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly in which he criticize his political opponents but a social media user edited the video and instead of whole video clip shared the 20 seconds clip in which he tried that former MPA criticised local people of Titwalan but in-fact he is supposed to say his opponents are living at Peshawar not in home town and come Shangla for elections.
Haji Abdul Munim, says that edited video was viral by some miscreants to defame him in the public and attempted to create hate among the people of Titwalan against him.
“Social media is nowadays has become a tool for people to quickly defame an honourable person of the society and share stuff without verification but photoshoped and edit videos which has extorted the society,” Mr Munim said.
He said if this practice was not stopped by the law and enforcement agencies through legal action that may lead the society to the disaster because the local tribal system would not tolerate such hate creating activities of the social media.
Bakh Zada was assistant education officer and has political affiliation with Pakistan Muslim League-N, he was killed after a clash between two groups in Maira area of Bisham in Shangla in 2019.
The clash was erupted due to facebook post in which two tribes had arguments with each other and that led to armed clash.
Ibrar Khan, an elder from Bisham complained to Bisham police in 2020 that a fake account namely A Khan Khan has been defaming him on social media by sharing fake, manipulated stuff.
Farhad Ali, a police official in Bisham police station, says he received over a dozen complaints about different fake accounts but that submitted to the FIA cybercrime wing because the cybercrime cases were dealt by FIA.
Abid Yar, Shangla coalminer association’s president, says their organisation was accused by fake accounts for many times and they stored their screen shots although there was no reality in their posts so they left them.
Mr Yar says law exits in the country now but need its implementation to control and discourage fake, fabricated information on the social media and made it safe for a real user and he could enjoy the facility of the social media.
Amir Khan, a resident of Bisham when complained to police they told him that it was the case of cybercrime wing of federal investigation Agency (FIA) but its office located in Peshawar and he was not able to go there despite lodging his complaint online through website.
He told FIA should have its station in Shangla district where people could lodge their complaint.

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