A Pakistani politician had constituents confused when his country’s ruling party’s Facebook page live streamed a video showing him – and others – with a cat filter. The party blamed a hapless volunteer.
Although the government quickly deleted the cat filter video, unfortunately for officials in it, screenshots showing them with pink cat ears and whiskers abounded throughout the Internet. It was a live press conference. You can see them throughout this article.
Shaukat Yousafzai is a regional minister in northwest Pakistan, according to CNN, and the cat filter video was shared via the Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s official Facebook page. He later explained to AFP, “I wasn’t the only one – two officials sitting along me were also hit by the cat filter.”
People expressed confusion. One man, Mohsin Bilal Khan, was even more blunt, calling the video “insane.”
“What have this official PTI KPK Facebok page has done with KPK Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai ? ! This is INSANE,” he wrote on Twitter.
Another man had a brilliant idea. “I propose all parliamentary proceedings around the world to be recorded with Cat Filters. Please start with the British Parliament! @HouseofCommons @UKHouseofLords @UKParliament,” he wrote.
The Facebook page has more than 1 million likes. Its recent posts deal with far more serious stuff, such as provincial elections and an anti-polio campaign.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Party Apologized & the Page Has Now Posted a Press Conference Video Sans Cat Ears
The party, which is the ruling party in Pakistan, has apologized. The party released a “clarification regarding coverage of Press Briefing held by KP’s Information Minister Shoukat Yousafzai.” In what is perhaps an unintentionally hilarious clarification, the party wrote:
Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf’s social media team is deemed to be the pioneers of Social Media in Pakistan. We not only pride ourselves in bringing Pakistani Politics to internet but also feel content in setting high standards of SOPs and etiquette with the help of our dedicated volunteer based SM force. Yesterday, whilst covering a press briefing held by KP’s Information Minister Shoukat Yousf Zai, a ‘cat filter’ was witnessed by the viewers which was removed within few minutes. PTI SM Disciplinary committee probed the matter first hand and concluded the incident as a ‘human error’ by one of our hard working volunteer. (sic) All necessary actions have been taken to avoid such incident in future with a great emphasis on strict enforcement of SOPS and protocol for live coverage by the ground teams.
The party’s page has now posted a version of the video that doesn’t show the politician as a cat. However, the comment thread filled up with jokes.
“Who is here for cat filter???” wrote one person. “Where is ???? filter” wrote another. “I am here for cat filter…Who else,” said another man.
“This would be pretty interesting in the middle of a congressional hearing,” one Twitter user suggested. People responded to the party’s apology with more jokes. “Well, one way to look at it is that you can continue to claim to be pioneers in Social Media,” wrote one man.