Imran Khan asks supporters not to abuse critics on social media
Islamabad: With many of his supporters resorting to widespread abuse against anyone who criticises the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf on social media, Imran Khan on Wednesday condemned "abuse and harassment" on platforms like Twitter, especially acts that target women.
The cricketer-turned-politician said it was unacceptable for those claiming to be supporters of the Tehrik-e-Insaf to harass or abuse anyone on social media, especially women.
The party can make its case effectively on the basis of its policies, positions and ideology, Khan said in a statement.
"We do not need to be, nor should we ever be abusive" against people as that only undermines the party and its cause, he said.
Khan, who has a large following among the youth, said, "For insaf (justice) to be done, the process, behaviour should also be one of insaf. How we conduct ourselves reflects on our party and ideology."
There is "no room for abusers and harassers" in the party, he added.
Many Pakistani journalists and writers have been at the receiving end of Khan`s supporters on social media, especially Twitter.
Adil Ansari, head of the Tehrik-e-Insaf`s social media team, claimed the party did not have any connection to trolls and abusers.
"We disown all kinds of abusive activities on social media and unwanted and unusual trolling as declared by opposition," he told a news agency.
Giving an insight into his party`s social media presence, Ansari said activities are run by a "huge group of volunteers" in different parts of the world.
The party has separate teams for Twitter, Facebook, Insaf Radio and Insaf TV. There is a team that make apps for Android and iPhone, a creative team for graphics work, a videos team and a set of writers and bloggers.
"The most public or rather mainstream forum of social media is Twitter. But some users, taking benefit of our politeness, started attacking media and other people with abuses," he said.
"However such messages from the party chairman keep things settled over this medium. The official social media team is controlled by the party`s code of conduct and is never involved in trolling," he said.
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