Representatives of Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Messenger, met with the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) in Islamabad on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 to discuss Meta’s initiatives to support the government’s digital transformation. .
Prime Minister Imran Khan established the NSMCWG in October 2021 to facilitate interaction with digital platforms and work on social media policies. The working group also focused on encouraging digital platforms to invest in Pakistan.
In their first meetings with the working group, Meta representatives briefed the government on initiatives that contribute to digital literacy, participation and activation. They also discussed future collaboration efforts in the areas of communication, tools and systems for removing harmful content, compliance with local laws, rules and regulations, and ways to support local content creators.
NSMCWG has expressed concern about the effective and timely moderation of malicious and illegal content on Meta platforms. Both sides have demonstrated their willingness to participate on an ongoing basis to improve cooperation on mechanics and content moderation and compliance with local laws. NSMCWG members praised Meta’s future plans for greater participation in the digital map of Pakistan.
Meta and the working group also decided to work with academies, incubators, startups and telecommunications service providers to explore the idea of establishing a Community Lab in Pakistan. The laboratory will provide a platform to develop and test innovative technological solutions to help the communication ecosystem grow in Pakistan.
Sarim Aziz, Meta’s head of public policy for South Asia, said the creation of the working group had made it easier for digital platforms to interact with government stakeholders, share ideas and concerns and meet needs in this area.
We share the vision of the Government of Pakistan to build a sustainable digital economy in Pakistan through well-thought-out investment in connectivity infrastructure and digital skills development programs to unleash economic growth on a large scale. This is the first of many discussions, and we are committed to working with the government to ensure that online spaces in Pakistan are safe, free and accessible to all.
The NSMCWG said it was a productive first meeting with Meta and that the Working Group continued to advocate for digital investments that would strengthen sustainable economic growth in the long run.
We encourage Meta not only to invest in local connectivity efforts, but also to explore different ways for Pakistani businesses and developers to be committed to generating meaningful, reliable revenue on their platforms and creating new opportunities in the future.
This is the first meeting between the Government of Pakistan and Meta, which lays the foundation for a number of tasks, as the two sides undertake to increase digital connectivity and connectivity within the country.