The fiasco started as #FamilyGate, turned into a #MalikGate, morphed into #MediaGate and suddenly I was thrushed into a weird fiasco which I choose to call as #TwitterGate. Unless you have been sleeping under a rock im sure you must have read Pakistans obsession with the “Gate fiasco” somewhere along the line, watergate to memogate etc etc, It seems Pakistanis are ready to rename all possible gates in Lahore and beyond
TwitterGate takes birth on the afternoon of 14th June 2012. When suddenly scanned copies of a Baharia Town documents appeared on the social networks, it listed about 19 top journalists to have been allegedly favored by the Bahria town owners in one form of the other, [this release comes hours after the off-air DunyaTV youtube video hits the social network hours earlier]. Noticing these images, I choose to share the image by ProPakistani at 4:05 pm on my facebook profile
— Abdullah Saad (@Kursed) June 14, 2012
Upon talking to Abdullah Saad today he categorically says that the image was not posted by him, but instead was a ReTweet of a particular media personality, whose tweet he ReTweeted (new style), when “the media personality” deleted his own tweet, it actually resulted in Abdullah Saad’s tweet also being deleted. The name of the media personality mentioned by Abdullah Saad was given to me but I choose to with-hold the name until I can get his own point of view [I'm paying caution to the wind lest i be sucked in an another circus]
[Read an update at the bottom of this post]
My second facebook update was made at 4:31pm after I discovered that the ProPakistani had only one page [3rd page] and Meri Jan Pakistan had the entire 4-page set on their facebook page in an album titled #MediaGate
After this post almost 29 minutes after from my “first Facebook (ProPakistani) status update” I tweeted the following at precisely 4:34pm on 14th June 2012. This was then also the first time I shared this on twitter and by then twitter was brimming full of these documents, if for an example even Kursed himself had retweeted the particular update well before 4:05pm, to have been picked up by ProPakistani and then to have been re-shared by myself
— Awab Alvi (@DrAwab) June 14, 2012, 4:34pm
- No where have I been involved in the “release or creation of this list” – I issue an open challenge to anyone to find any link, IP address to find that I personally helped create the list or to have uploaded this document.
- The mere fact that roughly 39 people [as of writing of this post] retweeted a tweet after it had already been in circulation prior to 4:05pm does not mean that the blaming finger points to a person whose tweet “was viewed by the most number of times” versus anyone elses’.
- If the accusation, that I should have verified the document before sharing – can be the possible debate, but the brunt of the accusation thrown upon me for the past two days, is to have been the “original uploader” &/or “have been involved in the creation” of this list – Which I am neither
- The slanderous campaign on Dunya TV and on Bolta Pakistan is uncalled for, as much as they accuse me for not verifying a document, I stand to question them in-turn – these “Professional Journalists” have initiated a slanderous campaign against me without verifying the facts, they accused me of creating the document but did not even so much as care to investigate the facts or the digital trail, two wrongs dont make a right.
- Nusrat Javed Sb was mighty irritated on the evening of the 14th on Bolta Pakistan, after having been cyber bullied by many on twitter, Im sure he along with many other anchors must have received a number of attacks, for which he generally has chosen to clump them to have been “directed by PTI”. Nusrat Sb, with all due respect, PTI Social Media team (including me) have absolutely no control over any twitter user, we advocate our supporters to discuss issues with decency and respect but there is no way we can control or censor what a random person might say.
- Absolutely no one is under my personal direction nor is delegated by me to run such malicious campaign against any journalist or any person whatsoever
- With the possibility of so many fake & random accounts that can exist on twitter, we would like to draw your attention that there could very well be a deliberate & malicious attempt by our opponents to mal-align PTI, I’m not transferring the blame away but it must seriously be factored in.
Nusrat Sb goes on to accuse me on his Bolta Pakistan page to be running the PTI-troll army
This SMS I just got from a PTI-insider from abroad: Nusrat Sahab the man behind all this propaganda against us is Dr Awab Alvi. He gives instructions to all the PTI trolls on social media. He was also behind that list.”
My response, Sir, is your journalistic research dependent upon an SMS? I’m sure not, I do hope that your PTI-Insider has more to show for than a mere 180 character message. Let me reassure you PTI totally and fully denounces abusive language, neither the party not its social media team has any interest in creating enemies from media personalities. Our team is open to suggestions on how to handle this growing problem and remain open to ideas and suggestions for the same, we cannot stop / censor the internet, mere reinforcement by leaders does not solve the issue, hence a dilemma worth frothing over
I must admit, due to the emotionless 140-character paradigm of twitter there are times when a certain irritated slapstick jab, possibly a wrong selection of words, can be perceived as abuse [non-profanity], but we all try to avoid such situations and advocate others to do the same
Hence in conclusion – neither PTI nor I, have any link or association with this document, the public discourse after its release has more or less been shrugged off as false
A good read as well – Facts that Nusrat Sahib missed
UPDATE June 17th 15:00: On June 12th at 12:59am it seems Wajahat Khan posted a link to the youtube video which has the same names of the anchors listed – he posted the same to his own followers on twitter and facebook
— Wajahat S. Khan (@WajSKhan) June 11, 2012
Who had tweeted the youtube from Ghulam Mustafa at 12:42am on 12th June
And in their discussion Asad Kharal, Express Tribune reporter mentioned in reference at 12:36am
Out of total 8 journalists as many as four anchors/columnists have been belonging to only one media group — Asad Kharal (@AsadKharal) June 11, 2012
It seems the Twitter and Facebook digital trail ends at or near this time frame Wajahat, Ghulam Mustafa & Asad Kharal were discussing this list almost two days prior to it appearing on the 14th afternoon, it might be best to ask them to clarify the origins of this list?
UPDATE #2 17th June 19:30: Digging a little deeper it seems the Youtube Video that Wajahat & Ghulam Mustafa shared was actually uploaded on 7th of June 2012 [go to the Youtube video and click stats to see the necessary data] the first site to upload it was on a forum on PKPOLITICS – the URL http://pkpolitics.com/discuss/topic/%d8%b5%d8%ad%d8%a7%d9%81%db%8c%d8%8c-%d8%ac%d8%b1%d9%86%db%8c%d9%84%d8%8c-%d8%b3%db%8c%d8%a7 it is now not accessible, and may have been moderated out, while at the same time the user made multiple posts on Twitter, Facebook & Siasat.pk. It seems to be a random user making multiple posts and possibly got moderated. Of the four sites uploading it first, it might be prudent for the investigation team to issue a show-cause notice by NR3C and get the necessary IP addresses from PkPolitics &/or Siasat.pk [since Twitter and Facebook would definitely not oblige] Once you track the video you can figure out where did the TwitterGate actually originate from.
UPDATE #3 June 18th 23:00: The digital trail seems to end at Asad Kharal who at 12:17am on June 12th shares that a list of distributed at the Punjab Assembly
list distributed in Punjab Assembly, contains names of anchors includingfemale anchor,allegedly received money, plots, fromMalik Riaz.
— Asad Kharal (@AsadKharal) June 11, 2012
Seeing this tweet I’m furious, this document was circulated outside the Punjab Assembly in front of hundreds of Lawmakers, Not one person had the decency to confess up or point out the facts to Nusrat Javed Sb that this list originated from an individual in the Punjab Assembly.
A so-called jounrliast like Nusrat Javed should have done the necessary research before mouthing off allegations, on me and PTI. I personally can only thank him for all the media attention it got me, but I should have the right to challenge Nusrat Javed to have the decency to issue an apology, is he above the norms of decency? must be since when we challenged he flatly refused
Is this Journalism?