Nothing in itself is all good or all bad, but it is the use which defines it. For instance; we live in the age of internet and we have got the luxury of connecting with people all over the globe using social networking sites. There were days when Pakistani Twitter was considered the most appropriate forum for mature people to interact. People from all walks of life and all political backgrounds used to interact and have healthy discussions. I remember sharing opinions and ideas and tolerating difference of opinions with patience and taking criticism with grace. It’s in our DNA to have different opinions, likes, dislikes and thinking point of view and therefore it’s okay for tweeps to disagree over their political or otherwise beliefs. But the motivating factor for me to write on this topic was the sad display of lack of mutual respect on social media.
I witnessed some very unpleasant experiences over the course of last couple years and I’m writing on this issue because I fear an absolute moral decay, which is rapidly penetrating in our society. Seeing youth getting politicized is a good sign but unfortunately the political gods have totally failed in teaching their followers some morals and ethics. Like a wise man once said it’s something than runs in the family. When the leader will use inappropriate and non-parliamentary street language for his opponents, his followers will automatically learn and do the same.
Most of the people think that Imran Khan, in his desperation of becoming the Prime Minister, has crossed all the moral limits. Almost all of his public speeches are nothing but a ‘sharamnak’ blend of unethical language and vulgar remarks against his political opponents. He has successfully passed this “political trait” to his followers. PTI has almost destroyed the culture of patience and mutual respect. The social media users of PTI are more bullies who harass and abuse their opponents or anyone who dare to criticize Imran Khan than social media activists. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman, an elderly, a journalist, representative or head of any party, organization or even state, dare to say a word against Imran Khan or his policies and they will “mention crush your twitter to death”. Probably they are trained this way and therefore you can never reason with them.
Having a soft spot for Imran Khan, it was very disappointing and upsetting for me to see Insafians hitting new lows with every passing day. At first I thought it was just about using abusive language or disgracing other people you but then one day I got almost a hundred replies on a tweet against TTP, all from PTI janoonis and Imran Khan’s tigers, using the exact same (curse) words for me. It’s easy to block one account or two but dozens of fake account? I had to change my notification setting for some peace.
But it wasn’t over. In fact. when it comes to PTI’s social media activists, it’s never over. Whenever I think that I’ve seen the worst side of PTI and it’s supporters, they never fail to surprise me. Just after Imran Khan announced his dharna in 2014, I saw all the celebrities, journalists and social figures populating my news feed with “support Imran Khan” tweets. Forever shall I remain indebted to my friend Syed Farrukh Abass Hussaini who shared a twitter thread with me where I read Abdul Sattar Edhi (A well-known Social Worker), Saleem Safi (Journalist/Columnist), Sadaf Abdul Jabbar (Journalist), Molana Taiq Jameel (Famous Religious Scholar) and many celebrities announcing that they don’t own those accounts which are promoting PTI on social media. Though he’s been supporting PTI throughout their movement but while Dr Danish’s Twiter account was binge tweeting about PTI’s social media campaign he announced, in his live show, that his account has been hacked. Rest you can all connect the dots to figure out which party the hacker belonged to. Embarrassingly, this is how PTI became the biggest political party on social media.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s never really ‘over and all’ when it comes to PTI surprising us with it’s social media activism. Things turned really embarrassing for PTI when the reality of their most famous trend setter Farhan Virk was exposed. He had made a fake account of Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the famous atomic scientist of Pakistan and fooled a huge number of Pakistani tweeps (including me) to follow him. Virk later changed the twitter handle and name and owned the account. But he wasn’t clever enough to delete the previous tweets and was thus caught. He also claimed to be the Global Youth Ambassador for UN Education program which was later proved to be false as well.
To add to PTI’s cyber achievements, a very famous Facebook page named “What The Sach” was hacked after the admins started a “counter youthia” campaign against the PTI cyber bullies. The hackers, after taking the control of the page, exposed the identities of the page admins thus putting their lives in dangers. Followers of ‘What the Sach’ will know that the page was fighting against terrorism, extremism and mullahism and I don’t need to explain what happens to people who fight these battles on any forum in Pakistan. The page was later recovered but the admins decided to quit because it wasn’t safe for them to continue as they were not ‘anonymous’ anymore.
I’d say that these things are not bringing PTI or Imran Khan a good name but they’ve already worked so hard to reach this level of disgrace and there’s hardly anything left for them to do that can some more shame to their name. People have had enough of PTI’s bullying, both cyber and otherwise. attitude of PTI’s trolls. Since we can’t compete with them by stooping low to their level, we ‘mass block’ the trolls and thank Mohsin Saeed who summed up this entire PTI phenomenon in one word “Youthia”, which went viral just after he uttered it.
Mohsin Saeed says that the term Youthia actually describes the reaction of the youths who without understanding the actual issue, political or of any other nature, just go on lecturing everyone how only they know the actual solution and anyone else who dares to disagree is a perfect “chay” (urdu word for the superlative degree of stupidity). Youthias represent a particular group or mindset who have absolutely no sense and knowledge of politics and history. Their ultimate source of information is Facebook , Google and Wikipedia, possibly because their leader Imran Khan loves to quote them as references.
The big question, however, remains: Shall we see the day when PTI will finally get rid of this whole youthia phenomenon?