Growing Challenges of Media Freedom -PECA Act

Another controversy circulating that the government amended the Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act, 2016 (PECA) on February 18, 2022. It is a secret law that the government seeks to impose on Pakistanis. Freedom of expression and the right to information can be suppressed by this Act. The government is attempting to shield its officials and organisations from criticism because people are also blind-eyed and believe fake news on social media easily and spread fake news without cross-checking.

Media practitioners and governments can only build mechanisms to combat false news by debate and deliberation, not by enacting legislation. Nobody can choke the media in 2022, no truth can be hidden. According to journalists, this act is being methodically slaughtered in this nation by minimizing flexibility of expression on the affection of combating ‘fake news,’ cybercrime and misinformation. The Pakistani government is looking for wide modern powers to control the media as part of its crackdown on the flexibility of expression. Is there any exact definition of “fake news” in the Act?

The Government should elaborate the definition of fake news in the Act evidently to avoid perplexity. Authorities can also minimize misinformation by maximizing monitoring and removing toxic content without finishing data secrecy.

The media require gatekeeping of the exactness of the news. No news is fake news. Media can improve society by taking some positive steps including misinformation awareness campaigns, focusing on social issues, and providing accurate information about economic, political, social and sports so that people should not be misused. People should cross-check news before sharing and look over the sources from where that content is picked up.



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