According to the Report of Freedom House 2019 regarding internet freedom, Pakistan has dropped a rank lower to 27th out 100. This is because of the excessive control over the digital space. Despite a wide array of internet users, Pakistan falls under the category where there is strong control over the mainstream narrative, especially at the time of elections when social media is used to build a narrative in the favour of certain political actors. In the digital age, where scrutiny of content is a huge challenge, there is a lot of space to create content. The advantage that the right-wing has over the left-wing is that the former mindset already prevails in the society. When such social media consumers search for content, they are automatically pointed towards the content of a similar nature because the algorithms of several social media websites help users consume content of their liking.

The result of such practices is that there is a push for authoritarianism within several circles because the liberty of thought and speech is being looked down upon. This is not the mistake of one particular government, rather the mistake of poorly thought out policies of successive governments. Years worth of draconian legislation and investment in structures that stymie freedom of expression has led to an environment where the internet in Pakistan is more unsafe and less inclusive, confirmed by the Executive Director of the Digital Rights Foundation Nighat Dad.

The report also noted that the government was using several techniques to curb any dissenting voices in the system, by silencing critical journalists and activists. While Facebook authorities cooperated with the government to help sift through content and making reporting easier, Twitter authorities did not cooperate to curb any dissenting voices, which is why several journalists and activists have shifted to using Twitter as means to voice out their concerns or protest against policies of the government.

Many users are also resorting to self-censorship techniques which are making it difficult to present unbiased news and information to audiences. The government needs to aid media houses in creating a safe space along with giving the liberty of speech to internet users. Unless and until the narrative threatens the security of the state or its individuals, having a difference of opinion should not become a bone of contention for anyone.