Twitter suspended Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) chief Khadim Rizvi’s account following complaints from various sectors of civil society, however, the public reaction to the account suspension varied from positive to indignant at best.
Earlier, the human rights minister had revealed that the social media network had ignored interior ministry’s complaints pertaining to suspension of the firebrand cleric’s account as he had been accused of inciting violence through religious rhetoric and hurling abuses at the judiciary and state institutions.
Following the suspension, Journalist and TV show host Mubashir Xaidi commended Twitter, joking that at least Twitter had more guts than the concerned authorities who had failed to do much.
— Mubashir Zaidi (@Xadeejournalist) November 4, 2018
Activist Iman Mazari tweeted that a new account that had popped up after the former was suspended had also been taken out by Twitter.
“Well done to everyone who reported it. Let’s make whatever little contribution we can to secure a safer digital space for ourselves & others.
If any new accounts for Khadim Rizvi come up, let’s get those taken down too! ??”
The new account has also been suspended.
Well done to everyone who reported it. Let’s make whatever little contribution we can to securing a safer digital space for ourselves & others.
If any new accounts for Khadim Rizvi come up, let’s get those taken down too! ??
— ایمان زینب (@ImaanZHazir) November 4, 2018
However, not everyone was appeased so easily.
Editor Foreign Affairs Adil Shahzeb questioned why the social media channel had not heeded to countless complaints and taken off the account earlier. He also added that the account “accused of preaching hatred” had been given verified status to top the matter, a blue tick marker for accounts verified by the Twitter administration itself.
I try and refrain from tweeting news etc over the weekend but TLP’s Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s twitter account got suspended! One question from @Twitter @TwitterSupport why was this account not suspended earlier? On the top of thaf an account accused of preaching hate was verified.
— Adil Shahzeb (@adilshahzeb) November 4, 2018
Ramsha Jahangir, a journalist specialising in internet freedom and digital rights, however, probed why the cleric- who had incited mob violence in the country last week, and paralysed major traffic routes- had not been arrested when even Twitter, “which has previously declined ALL content removal requests from Pakistan govt – agrees that Khadim Rizvi’s tweets were inciting violence”.
So even Twitter – which has previously declined ALL content removal requests from Pakistan govt – agrees that Khadim Rizvi’s tweets were inciting violence. His account has been suspended.
The govt, however, is still not convinced there is a reason to arrest him.
— Ramsha Jahangir (@ramshajahangir) November 4, 2018
Another user commented that “getting Khadim Rizvi’s account suspended is useless” because he has a large follower base that doesn’t use Twitter or depend upon it to take orders from the far-right leader.
tbh getting khadim rizvi’s account suspended is going to do no shit because most of the people who were on the roads with him aren’t even on twitter
— کائنات ? (@kaymblrr) November 4, 2018