Social media trolls, beware: the Pakistani government is hoping to strike a deal with social media giants like Facebook and Twitter that would have the companies hand over the identities of so-called blasphemers, those who post content that is deemed offensive to Islam. Under Pakistani law, blasphemy is a crime that can be punishable by death.
According to Pakistan’s Interior Minster Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, an official from the country’s U.S. embassy is seeking to have Facebook and Twitter begin singling out Pakistani citizens – both in Pakistan and abroad – that have circulated offending materials.
“We disclose information about accounts solely in accordance with our terms of service and applicable law. A Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or other formal request may be required for international requests, and we include those in our Government Requests Report,” Facebook said in a related statement.
Working on its own, Pakistani law enforcement agents have already sought out 11 people that will be questioned for their problematic social media presence, but no word has surfaced as to whether these people will face punishment.
So widespread is the perceived problem of blasphemous Facebook content in Pakistan that the government may possibly block the website entirely, with rumors claiming that the ban hammer may come down as early as March 22.
“I will go to every extent to bring this case to its logical end and if needed I will even ban social media in Pakistan,” High Court Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui reportedly said.