Pakistani govt launches mobile app to report hate speech

Pakistani government has launched a mobile phone application to enable the public to report hate speech in a bid to curb the spread of extremism and sectarianism.

The app, compatible with both android and iOS operating systems, is called Chaukas (meaning “vigilant”) and has been launched by the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) as part of its cyber counter-terrorism initiative.

The app enables citizens to report anonymously extremist speeches, banners or activities wherever they notice them. Users can send pictures, audio, video or a written message.

Spokesperson for NACTA, Mujeebur Talpur, said this is a step to curb the spread of extremist tendencies from the society.

Though the government defines hate speech only vaguely, Talpur said that, for example, any material that “disturbs interfaith harmony, is based on sectarian or extremist views or is against any religion is considered hate speech.”

In January, the government launched an application called Surfsafe, which allows citizens to report websites that publish extremist content and hate speech.

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