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February 19, 2024 - Comments Off on NWJDR condemns the use of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) and Generative AI to attack and silence women journalists

NWJDR condemns the use of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) and Generative AI to attack and silence women journalists

PAKISTAN: The Network of Women Journalists for Digital Rights (NWDJR) is angered and deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks against prominent women journalist Meher Bokhari and others in online spaces by PML(N) party supporters. On examining multiple platforms, NWJDR has found non-consensual use of images (NCUI), non-consensual use of intimate images (NCII) and doctored images created through generative artificial intelligence (AI) and other AI tools of Meher Bokhari being shared online with sexist, misogynistic and sexualized gendered attacks. 


It is not the first time women journalists have been targeted by political party supporters online. There has been pervasive and persistent online harassment, sexualized and otherwise gendered disinformation faced by women journalists in Pakistan, with many being threatened with physical assault and offline violence. We’ve witnessed multiple incidents of female journalists' private information being leaked online with what we can say are well-planned and directed efforts to silence them & resulted in stalking and offline harassment. In Meher’s case, the attempt to malign, scare and threaten her with morphed images of her on objectionable content through generative AI tools points towards a remarkably alarming trend of a new form of technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) against journalists. 


Before the elections, NWJDR released the 6-point agenda on media freedom and journalist safety for political parties' electoral manifestos, which was signed by more than 100 journalists and civil society members on journalist safety. It has been quite alarming and disappointing that despite the efforts to raise our concerns with political parties around journalist safety, we witnessed, in a matter of days, attacks on journalists like Meher Bokhari, Maria Memon, Hamid Mir, Saadia Mazhar and Benazir Shah, to name a few along with family members of journalists for simply reporting during Pakistan’s general elections 2024. 


The action angers NWJDR, and we’d like to reiterate that online violence and abuse constitute as an offense and complaint-based action should be taken by relevant authorities. 


Signed by: 

    1. Absa Komal - Dawn TV
    2. Hafsa Javed Khawja - The reporters
    3. Mehr F Husain - Editor- The Friday Times/ Publisher, ZUKA Books 
    4. Amber Rahim Shamsi - Director, Centre for Excellence in Journalism 
    5. Saadia Mazhar- Freelance Investigative journalist
    6. Tehreem Azeem - Freelance Journalist and Researcher
    7. Laiba Zainab- The Current 
    8. Rabbiya.A. - Turkman Multimedia Journalist & Documentary Maker
    9. Shehzad Yousafzai
    10. Nighat Dad - Executive Director, Digital Rights Foundation 
    11. Amer Malik - Senior Journalist, The News International 
    12. Kaif Afridi - News Producer, Tribal News Network
    13. Feroza Fayyaz - Web-Editor, Samaa TV
    14. Muhammad Ammad - Copy Editor 
    15. Nasreen Jabeen - AbbTakk News 
    16. Seerat Khan - Programs Lead/Co-editor Digital 50.50 , Digital Rights Foundation
    17. Afra Fatima - Digital journalist 
    18. Fauzia Kalsoom Rana- Producer Power show with Asma Chaudhary, Founder and Convenor Women journalists Association of Pakistan WJAP 
    19. Muhammad Bilal Baseer Abbasi - Multimedia Journalist, Deutsche Welle (DW) News Asia / Urdu Service
    20. Mahwish Fakhar - Producer Dawn TV 
  • Sadia Rafique Radio Broadcaster - FM 101
    1. Sarah B. Haider - Freelance Journalist
    2. Ramsha Jahangir - Journalist 
    3. Zoya Anwer - Independent Journalist 
    4. Afifa Nasar Ullah - Multimedia journalist/foreign correspondent at Deutsche Welle.
  • Sheema Siddiqui- Geo TV Karachi 
  • Mudassir Zeb - Crimes Reporter Daily Aksriyat Peshawar.
  • Nasreen Jabeen - Daily Jang Peshawar
  1. Aftab Mohammad - Dialogue Pakistan 
  2. Anees Takar - Frontier Post, Radio Aman Network 
  3. Unbreen Fatima- Deutsche Welle
  4. Khalida Niaz- Tribal News Network 
  5. Naheed Jahangir- Assistant Media Manager 
  6. Fozia Ghani- Freelance Journalist
  7. Ayesha Saghir- Express News
  8. Aamir Akhtar - Freelance Investigate Journalist  Swabi, GTV News/Such News
  9. Rani Wahidi - Correspondent, Deutsche Welle (DW) Urdu  
  10. Fahmidah Yousfi- Rava Documentary
  11. Kamran Ali- Reporter- Aaj News 
  12. Jamaima Afridi- Freelance Journalist
  13. Fatima Razzaq- Lok Sujag 
  14. Umaima Ahmed- Global Voices
  15. Najia Asher President GNMI
  16. Sanam Junejo - Associated Press of Pakistan
  17. Asma Kundi-
  18. Maryam Nawaz- Geo News
  19. Lubna Jarrar - Freelance Journalist
  20. Sumaira Ashraf-  Video journalist DW
  21. Laiba hussan - Aaj news
  22. Uroosa Jadoon- Geo News 
  23. Tanzeela Mazhar GTV 
  24. Ayesha Rehman - Geo News 
  25. Najia Mir - Anchor/Producer KTN News
  26. Afia Salam- Freelance Journalist
  27. Farieha Aziz - Co-founder, Bolo Bhi
  28. Mehmal Sarfraz-  Journalist
  29. Benazir Shah-  Editor, Geo Fact Check
  30. Mahjabeen Abid- PTV National Multan 
  31. Zainab Durrani - Senior Program Manager, Digital Rights Foundation 
  32. Nadia Malik - Senior Executive Producer Geo News
  33. Annam Lodhi - Freelance Journalist 
  34. Fatima Sheikh - Freelance Journalist/ Communications Executive at CEJ-IBA
  35. Maryam Saeed - Editor Digital 50.50
  36. Rabia Mushtaq - Senior Sub-editor,
  37. Nadia Naqi, Dawn News

Published by: Digital Rights Foundation in Statement

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