The VOA journalist who threatened to kill and torture barely got a slap on the wrist

One of the benefits of working for a U.S State funded media organisation is that you can get away with threats of torture and murder with what seems to be barely a slap on the wrist from management.

It has come to the attention of The Sydney News that Behroz Khan, a journalist at Voice of America, is using his social media platforms to threaten people with violent acts and murder. Mr Khan has made numerous twitter attacks in local pashtu and urdu languages threatening to pull out tongues and take the lives of Pakistani citizens.

The Sydney News contacted Voice of America management who advised that Mr Khan was warned of the inappropriateness of his tweets. This was followed up with a tweet by Voice of America management reaffirming this. Twitter has not responded to notifications of this content.

This is not the first time Mr Khan has used inappropriate language or threatened someone breaching the Voice of America Social Media Code of Practice and also Federal US Code 875 (c) which makes cyberthreats of this nature punishable with up to 5 years in prison.

Mr Khan’s timeline is full of tweets like “You Will Pay The Price” kind of threats.

Recent EU guidelines propose that European based social media platforms remove content that incites terrorism within an hour of notification. Germany has taken the lead with this by implementing tough hate speech laws that make companies such as Twitter liable (with fines up to €50 million) if they don’t remove content like Mr Khan’s within 24 hours of notification.

Yet in America a US State funded news organisation seems to think a simple warning is sufficient action in response to a man who is not only threatening but also inciting violence, and hatred against individuals and the State of Pakistan.

The public response to Mr Khan’s tweets has been an overwhelming request for Voice of America to investigate and take appropriate action against Mr Khan. Given the local and international context of his actions a warning seems grossly insufficient.

The Sydney News welcomes further advice from Voice of America or Twitter about any outcomes of an investigation into these matters.