Pakistan’s ruling political party has assured citizens it has taken “all necessary actions” to ensure it will never again broadcast a press conference with a cat filter.
The pledge came after Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai’s media briefing was live streamed to the Tehreek-e-Insaf Facebook page, showing speakers with cat ears, rosy cheeks and long whiskers hovering over their faces.
According to the party, the political party’s social media team quickly noticed the cartoonish appearances of the speakers and removed the video “within a few minutes”.
However, viewers captured screenshots of the presser, posting photos and videos to social media.
— Mansoor Ali Khan (@_Mansoor_Ali) June 14, 2019
The images featured in local news stories, eventually appearing on major international news sites.
The following day, the party issued a statement about the debacle, making it clear the minister was not live streaming as a cat on purpose.
“Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf social media team is deemed to be the pioneers of social media in Pakistan,” a spokesperson said.
pakistan live facebook debate still has the cat filter on lol ! pic.twitter.com/ABDH7IN9jA
— Neiljetel (@neiljetel) June 17, 2019
The statement said a party disciplinary committee had “probed the matter first hand”, saying the incident was “human error” by a party volunteer.
“All necessary actions have been taken to avoid such [an] incident in [the] future, with a great emphasis on [the] strict enforcement of [standard operating procedures] and protocol for live coverage by the ground teams,” the spokesperson said.
Mr Yousafzai was light-hearted about the incident in a later interview with the AFP media agency, brushing it off as a mistake.
“Let’s not take everything so seriously,” he said.