Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Meta officials discuss digital transformation efforts in Pakistan

Representatives from Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Messenger, held a meeting with the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) to discuss Meta initiatives to support the government’s digital transformation in Pakistan.

In October 2021, Prime Minister Imran Khan established the National Social Media Coordinating Working Group (NSMCWG) to simplify engagement with digital platforms and work on appropriate policies relating to social media. An official press release, which was received here on Saturday, stated that the working group is also focused on encouraging internet platforms to invest in Pakistan.

Meta representatives presented the government on their projects that contribute to digital literacy, inclusiveness, and enablement at their first meeting with the working group, according to a report published on Saturday by APP. They also talked about potential collaboration initiatives in the areas of connectivity, tools and systems for deleting bad information, compliance with local laws, rules, and regulatory framework, and strategies to promote local content creators, among other things.

A major source of concern for the NSMCWG is the prompt and effective moderation of harmful and illegal content throughout the Meta platforms. Both parties expressed a readiness to continue working together to improve the mechanics of the system as well as cooperation on content filtering and compliance with local laws. Members of the NSMCWG expressed appreciation for Meta’s future ambitions to extend its visibility on Pakistan’s digital map in the future.

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Furthermore, Meta and the working group agreed to investigate the possibility of establishing a Community Lab in Pakistan in collaboration with universities, incubation institutions, entrepreneurs, and telecom service providers, as well as other interested parties. The lab will serve as a platform for the development and testing of novel technology solutions that will aid in the development of Pakistan’s connectivity ecosystem.

Sarim Aziz, Meta’s Head of Public Policy for South Asia, stated that the formation of the working group has made it easier for digital platforms to engage with government stakeholders, share insights and concerns, and respond to needs on the ground. “The formation of the working group has made it easier for digital platforms to engage with government stakeholders, share insights and concerns,” Aziz said. In order to unlock economic growth at scale, we agree with the Government of Pakistan’s aim of developing a sustainable digital economy in Pakistan through deliberate investments in connectivity infrastructure and digital upskilling initiatives.”

“This is the first of many discussions and we are committed to working with the government to ensure that online spaces remain safe, free, and accessible to everyone in Pakistan.”

The working group stated that the initial meeting had laid the groundwork for a series of future meetings between the government and Meta, as the two parties were dedicated to enhancing digital connectivity and inclusivity throughout the country.

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