According to a statement released on Saturday, Facebook parent Meta and the government-owned working group agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a community lab in Pakistan by collaborating with academia, incubation centres, startups, and telecom service providers.
In its initial meeting with Meta officials, the National Social Media Coordination Working Group (NSMCWG) claimed that the lab will provide a platform for developing and testing innovative technology solutions to assist the country’s connectivity ecosystem.
Meta Plans to Establish a Community Lab in Pakistan
PM Imran Khan established the NSMCWG to streamline engagement with digital platforms and develop suitable social media policy. The working group is also promoting digital platform investment in the country.
The formation of the working group has made it simpler for digital platforms to communicate with government stakeholders, exchange insights and concerns, and respond to needs on the ground. Representatives from Meta gave a presentation to the meeting about their projects that promote digital literacy, inclusivity, and enablement.
According to one of the representatives,
We share Pakistan’s vision of building a sustainable digital economy in the country through thoughtful investments in connectivity infrastructure and digital upskilling programs to unlock economic growth at scale. This is the first of many discussions and we are committed to working with the government to ensure that online spaces remain safe, free, and accessible to everyone in Pakistan.
They also talked about future collaborations in the areas of connectivity, tools, and systems for deleting harmful content, adherence to local laws, rules, and regulatory framework, and strategies to help local content creators.
NSMCWG also expressed its worries about effective and timely moderation of dangerous and unlawful content across the Meta platforms during the conference.
Both parties expressed an interest in continuing to work together to enhance the mechanics of content monitoring and compliance with local regulations. Meta’s future intentions for a stronger presence on Pakistan’s digital map were praised by members of the working group.
The meeting with Meta was deemed a success by the NSMCWG, which stated that the working group would continue to fight for digital investments that would power long-term economic development.
“We are encouraged that Meta is not only committed to local connectivity efforts, but is also exploring different ways for Pakistani businesses and creators to generate meaningful, reliable revenue on their platforms, and is committed to opening up new opportunities in the future,” says the statement.
The meeting, according to the working group, paved the way for multiple engagements between the government and Meta in order to improve digital connectivity and inclusiveness across the country.