Pakistani politician’s press conference derailed by accidental cat filter

Pakistani children point at a computer screen showing a screengrab of a press conference attended by provincial Minister Shaukat Yousafzai and streamed live on social media, in Islamabad on June 15, 2019. FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP/Getty Images

Talk about a cat-astrophe.

Pakistani politician Shaukat Yousafzai, a regional minister in northwest Pakistan, had set up a press conference on Friday that was to be livestreamed on Facebook in an attempt to give the public more access to political proceedings.

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Instead, viewers on the Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s official Facebook page got an eyeful of politicians with pointy cat ears and whiskers, the result of a staffer accidentally leaving the “cat filter” on.

The online audience was quick to notice the gaffe and took to Twitter to mock the press conference.

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The Tehreek-e-Insaf party acknowledged the mistake and said it wouldn’t happen again.

“Yesterday, while 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 a few minutes,” the party wrote in a statement. “[Our] social media team is deemed to be the pioneers of Social Media in Pakistan. We… pride ourselves in bringing Pakistani politics to [the] internet.”

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After some investigation, the party concluded that it was “a human error” made by one of its volunteers.

“The cat filter was turned on by mistake,” Yousafzai said after the conference. “Let’s not take everything so seriously.”

“I wasn’t the only one — two officials sitting along me were also hit by the cat filter,” he said with a laugh.


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